4Wheel Parts Chooses Vertical Networks

SUNNYVALE, Calif.July 22, 2003: Vertical Networks announced today that 4Wheel Parts, Inc., a leading retailer of four-wheel vehicle parts, has installed the Vertical Networks InstantOffice system in three existing locations and will roll out to all new locations thereafter.

With 50 retail locations currently in the United States - and branches in Canada and Japan - the growing Compton, CA based retailer aims to provide excellent phone service for customers while controlling the costs of installation and maintenance. The company investigated three other major systems - including two legacy companies - before choosing Vertical Networks.

Eric Couts, manager of telecommunications at 4Wheel Parts, said his company based its selection on "the compelling features of Vertical Networks" - competitive pricing, ease of use, efficient integration with the 4Wheel Parts company operation, simplicity and cost-effectiveness.

Vertical Networks helped 4Wheel Parts address the issue of maintaining the system remotely - a major challenge, since most of 4Wheel Parts' current locations are long distances from the Compton, CA headquarters. "Before we installed the Vertical Networks system, these changes used to be very time-consuming and expensive," says Couts. "Now, we can easily add more lines. Vertical Networks' diagnostic tools, and the system's overall flexibility, make the process highly intuitive."

The remote capability will save 4Wheel Parts at least $250.00-300.00 per system change - historically, the average cost of in-person store visits for system maintenance. "The Vertical Networks installations will easily pay for themselves," says Couts. "We expect to save at least $5,000.00 the first year with each local system."

In addition to rolling out Vertical Networks to all new locations, 4Wheel Parts is looking at key locations in its existing network as candidates for Vertical Networks boxes as current systems begin to age. "We'll be working toward standardizing on the Vertical Networks' platform," said Couts.

Phone Service on a Par with Other Sales Channels

In recent years, retailers have invested millions of dollars and countless hours developing sophisticated capabilities to support Web-based channels, call center capabilities, and catalog operations. But with all that investment in the newer channels, the store often has been overlooked.

While helping 4Wheel Parts control costs, the Vertical Networks system provides another, highly important benefit - helping retailers ensure that service to customers who telephone is on a par with those who shop by Internet or come into the stores.

"The retail industry has raised the bar for quality sales experiences," Couts said, "and at 4Wheel Parts, our phone inquiries are handled with the highest standard of responsiveness and attention to detail."

Scott Pickett, CTO of Vertical Networks, said, "There is no question that the key to success - and profitability - in today's retail market is ensuring that your customers have the best shopping experience they can possibly have."

The Vertical Networks store communications platform includes:

An applications platform for customized call routing, automated call handling, IVR, speech recognition, and other specialized retail applications such as prescription refill A next-generation phone system that supports multiple phone types, including digital, IP, analog, and wireless Management capabilities to centrally manage communications for a distributed network of stores Sophisticated reporting tools, integrated with network management that allow retailers to gather and consolidate business intelligence about customers calling their stores "Installing the Vertical Networks systems will give 4Wheel Parts a competitive advantage," says Couts. "It's a cutting-edge technology that a lot of our competitors are not using. We now have flexibility allowing us to add new functionality as we need it."

About 4Wheel Parts

4-Wheel Parts is one of the largest distributor of 4-wheel parts, including tires, wheels, and suspension. For more information about 4Wheel Parts, please visit www.4wheelparts.com.

About Vertical Networks, Inc.

Vertical Networks Integrated Communications Platform surpasses conventional communications solutions by supporting all the needs of a branch office or retail store--voice services, data networking, intelligent call handling, interactive voice response, enterprise application integration, and reporting. To ensure total customer satisfaction, Vertical Networks' strategic network service provider, reseller, and systems integration partners offer comprehensive support services.

For more information about Vertical Networks or its products, visit the company's Web site at www.vertical.com or call 408-585-3285.

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