Gold's Gym goes VoIP

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Gold's Gym goes VoIP


There is so much fodder for a joke involving Gold Gym's deployment of VoIP - such as imitating Arnold Schwarzenegger's accent or referencing Lou Ferrigno as the Incredible Hulk, but I will decline. Anyway, today Avaya announced that Gold's Gym is using Internet telephony to help the organization's U.S.-based locations eliminate costly outside conferencing services and transform their customer service operations. With new Avaya IP Office Solutions installed at each of its corporate offices, Gold Gym is now able to eliminate outside conferencing costs and to consolidate its formerly fragmented customer care team.

Here's the release:

Avaya IP Telephony Does the Heavy Lifting in Communications for One of the World's Largest Coed Health Clubs

Gold's Gym eliminates conferencing costs and transforms customer service with Avaya IP Office

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. - A new IP telephony solution from Avaya Inc. (NYSE:AV), a leading global provider of business communications software, systems and services, is doing the heavy lifting in communications for Gold's Gym, one of the largest coed health clubs in the world, by helping the organization's U.S.-based locations eliminate costly outside conferencing services and transform their customer service operations.

With gyms around the U.S. and corporate offices in Falls Church, Va., Venice, Calif., and Austin, Texas, Gold's Gym faced significant problems with its former phone systems. In addition to being out-of-date and costly to maintain, they lacked important internal conferencing capabilities. As a result, Gold's had to spend $4,000 to $6,000 a month on outside conference services just to stay in touch. The company also lacked the communications capacity to realize cost savings by consolidating the nationwide team of customer care agents who provide members with information on club hours, membership status and exercise class schedules.

With new Avaya IP Office Solutions installed at each of its corporate offices, Gold's now is able to eliminate outside conferencing costs and to consolidate its formerly fragmented customer care team.

"IP Office fit the bill," said Kurt Koenig, director of information technology, Gold's Gym. "The built-in conferencing capabilities alone saved us enough to pay for multiple systems, and the contact center application matched our budget requirements, had the expansion capability we needed, plus every ‘bell and whistle' you can imagine. In particular, we like the PC-based ‘wallboards' that show which agents are logged in, how many calls are in queue and how long they've been waiting."

Sold and installed for Gold's Gym by Strategic Products and Services (SPS), a Platinum certified Avaya BusinessPartner, Avaya IP Office is an all-in-one, high-performance communication solution that brings together voice, data and communications applications in a single package especially designed for small and mid-size businesses.Avaya has sold more than 38,000 IP Office systems to small and medium businesses worldwide.

With IP Office contact center software, Gold's Gym customer care personnel formerly based in local communities around the U.S. are now located at the company's Falls Church headquarters and centrally support multiple locations. A completely customizable IP Office auto-attendant receives incoming calls to the company's national toll-free line and uses area codes to route members to the most appropriate agent-or to the company receptionist if no contact center agent is logged into the system. Comprehensive Avaya reports and real-time on-screen management tools measure call volume, calling queues, average wait times and a variety of other performance parameters established by Gold's to make certain club members get excellent customer service.

A built-in 64-port IP Office conferencing bridge has proved to be a real boon to the company by allowing local, regional or national teams to set up conferences on the fly. Also, with an optional Web-based IP Office Conference Center interface, the company offers online conference scheduling and new collaboration capabilities so participants can share files in real time and broaden the effectiveness of their calls.

Koenig says his long-term goal is to deploy IP Office to each local gym and to link the systems in a corporate network. That process is already underway with the first four gym-based IP Office systems now fully deployed.

"When we begin to route calls over our own network and a call between California and Virginia is local, not long distance, I expect a huge savings," he said.

About Avaya
Avaya Inc. designs, builds and manages communications networks for more than 1 million businesses worldwide, including over 90 percent of the FORTUNE 500. Focused on businesses large to small, Avaya is a world leader in secure and reliable Internet Protocol (IP) telephony systems and communications software applications and services. Driving the convergence of voice and data communications with business applications - and distinguished by comprehensive worldwide services - Avaya helps customers leverage existing and new networks to achieve superior business results. For more information visit the Avaya website: http://www.avaya.com.


About SPS
Established in 1988, Strategic Products and Services (SPS) is one of Avaya's largest authorized Business Partners and a leading provider of communications applications, equipment and services for voice and data networking solutions. SPS has local sales presence throughout the New England, Mid-Atlantic and Mid-Western states, and has implemented more than 30,000 systems across the U.S.SPS provides business communications solutions to customers in all market segments, from small businesses to large multi-national Fortune 1000 corporations.The company focuses on delivering systems that add value to an organization, with technical expertise in call centers, efficiency applications and Voice over IP (VoIP) solutions. For more information on SPS, visit www.spscom.com.

About Gold's Gym
Gold's Gym has been an authority on fitness since 1965, dating back to the original Gold's Gym in Venice, California. It was the place for serious fitness. Gold's Gym quickly became known as "The Mecca of Bodybuilding.'' In 1977, Gold's Gym received international attention when it was featured in the movie Pumping Iron that starred Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno. From that first gym in Venice, Gold's Gym has become the largest co-ed gym chain in the world, with more than 600 gyms in 43 states and 25 countries. To learn more about the company, please visit its website at www.goldsgym.com



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