Today, unified communications vendor Avaya is unveiling its Avaya Engagement Solutions portfolio, a blend of new, enhanced, and rebranded solutions focused on meeting modern customer demands for multichannel collaboration solutions.
“This is a repositioning of what we have been doing, along with some enhancements to existing solutions, and in some cases new solutions which we did not have in the past,” said Troy Trenchard, VP & General Manager, Unified Communications Applications at Avaya.
Trenchard explained the philosophy behind the changes, in which the solutions are being branded for engagement rather than collaboration.
“Avaya has been separate for 14 years since we spun out from Lucent and in those 14 years the world has changed dramatically, as mobile and cloud have changed customer and employee expectations of enterprise solutions,” Trenchard said. “As a result, the traditional way of engaging with customers has become disjointed and out of date. We have gone from mainly voice-centric communications to collaboration, where the customer is focused on outcomes rather than technology. We call that the Era of Engagement.”
Trenchard said that what Avaya is doing with their new approach to the space is to get beyond the tools that allow people to interact, and build highly productive interactions that drive the success of a business. The idea is to do so through two solutions areas, which are called Customer Engagement and Team Engagement solutions.
The Customer Engagement area covers what used to be called Avaya Contact Center. A core solution here is Avaya Engagement Environment, a rebranding of Avaya Collaboration Environment.
“Collaboration Environment was originally introduced for Avaya Aura last year, and it customizes workflows with real time speech analytics capability,” Trenchard said. “Last year it was a separate platform. Now its capabilities are “snap-ins” which become applications on top of this environment, which let us work their analytics into other flows with more flexibility.” These snap-ins include WebRTC, real-time speech, mobility, work assignment and context store. The snap-in capability, as well as the new capabilities they offer, are new.
“Context Store, for example, keeps track of all interactions with the organization, and is organized by customer, to allow both us and our partners to use those capabilities in much more flexible ways,” Trenchard said.
The second major component of the Customer Engagement Area is Avaya Social Responder, a cloud-based solution for social media monitoring, which funnels social conversations into a contact centre operation for rapid, real-time response and engagement.
“Avaya Social Responder is new, with technology acquired a year ago from our acquisition of Tel-Aviv-based ITNAVIGATOR,” Trenchard said. “The technology has now been integrated fully into our Environment.”
The other element of the Customer Engagement Area which Trenchard identified as important is Avaya Customer Engagement Transformation Consulting Service, which offers phased, objective-driven strategies for achieving customer engagement environments.
“This is a multi-channel consulting service, and we have done all this ourselves,” he said. “We have gone from 60% of first consultations being with a live person to 80% of them being by the Web over the last 3-4 years.” While it is a direct service, Avaya resellers can resell it to their customers.
The second area, Avaya Team Engagement Solutions, is designed to better serve customers outside the contact centre.
A major part of this area is Avaya Communicator a rich, single client interface that provides access to all communications channels across both Aura and IP Office, including the new Avaya Multimedia Messaging and Avaya Aura Conferencing 8.0.
“We started to deliver Communicator last May, but haven’t really launched it in the market, because we wanted to launch it as part of fuller solution set,” Trenchard said. “We have enhanced the video capabilities, and virtualized it completely. It works with the next generation instant messaging Avaya Multimedia Messaging, and it’s rich media, so both recording and playback are done within the client.”
The second component of the area is AvayaLive Video, an Avaya hosted, cloud-based integrated audio, video conferencing and screen sharing service based on Avaya’s Scopia on-prem solution, to provide the same quality without the cost and complexity of installed infrastructure.
“This is an enterprise-class video service, for midmarket and enterprise customers,” Trenchard said. “We have been selling Scopia direct to enterprises, but offering it as a service will open up many more options for customers.”
An upgraded version of Avaya IP Office Select is another part of this area.
“This is a premium version of IP Office for midmarket customers,” Trenchard said. “It has all the same capabilities of IP Office, but is more scalable, handling up to 2500 customers and 150 locations, up from 1000 previously. Web capabilities have also been added in this release, a first for IP Office.