AAPT confident Alcatel deal will withstand rival dealings

AAPT is confident Alcatel's dealings with other telecommunications companies will not affect the AU$53 million partnership signed by the two companies June last year.The outsourcing agreement transferred the responsibility for the telecommunications company's network design and operations services to Alcatel.

AAPT is confident Alcatel's dealings with other telecommunications companies will not affect the AU$53 million partnership signed by the two companies June last year.

The outsourcing agreement transferred the responsibility for the telecommunications company's network design and operations services to Alcatel.

Rhoda Holmes, AAPT general manager for customer and network services, said both companies were open to finding other partners in the industry as long as Alcatel does not replicate what is under their agreement in New Zealand and Australia.

Holmes admits AAPT could not have afforded its projects without the partnership with Alcatel. "Playing with the big guns means we have to be more creative. With Alcatel, we can uncover examples and insights of the best practices in customer service and knowing what makes other markets tick to attract more customers."

AAPT's strategic development projects include a AU$10 million national multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) rollout, an AU$8.5 million upgrade of their Internet distribution network and a natural language speech recognition solution and access project.

The AAPT rolled out 18 MPLS routers to form part of a nationwide distribution network integrated into the existing Alcatel-supplied MPLS core network. Holmes said AAPT has "super sized" its IP network through their upgrade project to handle up to 100 gigabyte connections.

"This is a response to the increasing wholesale demand for carrier grade IP network services offering QoS," Holmes said.

Through the natural language speech recognition solution, AAPT has installed speech recognition system with current Alcatel partners Genesys and VeCommerce. Holmes said they aim to have up to 20 percent of calls resolved through speech recognition in order to free up customer representatives to handle calls that need more attention.

"The partnership is more than just outsourcing. If we didn't open up to this agreement, we would not have been able to do these projects we are doing now," Holmes said.

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