Avaya Launches Next-Gen Customer Service and Collaboration Applications

Avaya has announced a suite of new and enhanced products and services based on Avaya Aura that the company says redefine the economics and effectiveness of real-time, multi-media enterprise communications. The company has also introduced its next generation of contact centre solutions to meet the real-time demands of a rapidly evolving customer service environment.

The new Avaya Aura tools and services announced today make it possible to simultaneously accelerate decision-making and achieve meaningful financial impact, while moving enterprises towards a more people-centric approach to collaboration. The next generation contact centre solutions—which include innovations in multimedia work assignment, workforce optimisation and outbound self-service—help improve customer experiences. A central component of these contact centre introductions is Avaya Aura Contact Center, which introduces a unique approach to enhancing customer satisfaction and agent productivity through Experience Management.

“In today’s evolving business communications environment, companies demand the right technology approach to ensure superior experiences for employees and the customers they serve,” said Kevin Kennedy, president and CEO of Avaya. “Avaya’s latest series of innovations accomplishes this through faster, more efficient orchestration of people and information. Making smart business decisions quickly can be difficult, but connecting the right people to solve issues in real-time should be both simple and cost-effective.”

Avaya claims that new and enhanced capabilities in Avaya’s suite of Contact Center and Unified Communications (UC) applications drive improvement in the quality of customer service and employee collaboration for mid- to large-sized businesses while lowering the total cost of ownership. In addition, Avaya Aura 6.0 now features increased security, scalability and flexibility, plus common management and expanded use of virtualisation across the entire platform. Avaya Aura can save large enterprises approximately 23 percent in capital expenditures and another 33 percent in operating expenditures, according to a recent survey conducted by Avaya. Mid-sized enterprises typically save even more.

Today’s announcements include: Avaya Agile Communications Environment (ACE) facilitates the development of communications-enabled business applications to speed business workflow. Avaya ACE 2.2 includes Event Response Manager, a new packaged application that reduces downtime and increases efficiency by automatically notifying the right people with the right skills to respond to and manage unexpected events, such as inventory shortages, security breaches, etc. With Avaya ACE, enterprises can communications-enable their business applications up to 80% faster than by using traditional methods.

Avaya Aura Conferencing, now available in Standard Edition, provides rich audio, video and Web conferencing features on a single server that reduces management and power requirements.

Avaya Aura Messaging provides rich multimedia messaging with choices for accessing and storing messages. The first release of this Linux-based solution is specifically designed to enable Octel users to easily migrate to the new platform by maintaining the familiar user interface while delivering new features such as speech-to-text and speech-based virtual assistants.

Avaya Aura Presence Services offers an open standards-based, native instant messaging solution providing federated presence for IBM Lotus Sametime, and IM and Presence across Microsoft, IBM, Avaya one-X Communicator and Avaya one-X Agent and Avaya 9600 SIP phones.

Avaya Aura Session Manager 6.0 now scales to over 100,000 users, including 50,000 SIP phones and video capable endpoints.

Avaya Aura Communication Manager 6.0 can now be deployed as an Evolution server for easy migration of mixed H.323/TDM endpoints to SIP environments or a full SIP-based voice and video feature server.

Avaya Aura Session Border Controller (SBC) allows enterprises to securely connect real time, SIP-based unified communications to the rapidly growing number of IP-based devices, smart phones and applications both within and external to a company. The SBC protects a customer’s network and connected devices from attacks such as denial of service, spoofing attacks, “man in the middle,” or access through unused VoIP ports.

Avaya Aura System Manager 6.0 provides for a common management system across Avaya Aura that now extends to Presence Services, Conferencing and Messaging, making it easier to administer and manage Avaya Aura components from one central location.

Avaya Aura System Platform 6.0, Avaya’s virtualisation technology, now encompasses all elements of the Avaya Aura architecture and applications portfolio, eliminating up to 80 percent of hardware compared to competitive solutions.

Avaya 9600 family of desk phones now offer larger, colour touch screen displays at a lower price point, function on lower power and provide a low total cost of ownership. A new value-priced SIP model, the Avaya 1603SW-I, provides a low-cost option for small- to large sized businesses.

The company also issues a new release of Avaya Communications Server 1000 (CS1000), which increases scalability, enhances SIP support and connectivity. The continued investment in Avaya CS1000 provides installed customers with a smooth migration path into Avaya Aura and supports many of the applications announced today.

Avaya Aura has already enabled more than 400 enterprises to improve business efficiency and increase responsiveness since its introduction last year. Anchored by the open standards, Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)-based, Avaya Aura Session Manager, Avaya Aura instantly reduces complexity and provides the foundation for rich, contextual applications.

Avaya Aura Contact Center
Customer experiences are critical, yet most businesses are not aware of the disconnect they have with their own customers. In fact, a study by Webtorials shows that 80% of companies believe they provide a good or superior customer experience, while only 20% of consumers agree. With 82% of consumers saying their experience with the contact centre is ‘important’ or ‘very important’ in their opinion about a company’s image, companies cannot afford this disconnect.

Avaya Aura Contact Center is a new multimedia work assignment application for mid-size contact centres that connects customers and their information to the right agent or expert via any communications mode (i.e. voice, video, e-mail, web chat). It uses the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)-based collaborative session model of Avaya Aura to enhance the efficiency and quality of customer service. Avaya Aura Contact Center complements the large enterprise solutions of Avaya Aura Call Center Elite, and will serve as its multimedia extension.

Avaya Aura Contact Center’s collaborative capabilities help a business understand the full context of a customer interaction – including the customer’s mode of communications, history and needs. The solution also introduces collaborative sessions into customer care, which eliminates the process of having customers repeat information to several people as they progress through a call. By bringing the customer, agent and expert together in a single session to share information and complete transactions in real time, a company can reduce customer frustrations and increase first-contact resolutions.

New Solutions Deliver End-to-End Experience Management
Businesses using Avaya technology report an average customer service ratings increase of 28% after deploying Avaya Contact Center Solutions. Today’s introductions aim to continue this trend by offering a foundation for end-to-end Experience Management. Experience Management uses open communications to lets businesses orchestrate people and information, learn customer data, bring full context to sessions, and immerse agents and customers in a collaborative session.

In addition to Avaya Aura Contact Center, other new solutions unveiled today include:

Avaya Aura Workforce Optimization (WFO): Avaya introduces its first integrated offer in workforce optimisation, enabling companies to make more informed decisions about customer service. WFO includes recording and quality monitoring capabilities that let supervisors see the full scope of agent interactions. Insight gained through quality monitoring has been forecast to reduce agent training time by 30%. The solution also includes a workforce management application that collects information and historical trends from a contact centre, such as call volumes for a given time, to determine ideal staffing requirements, thus reducing excess costs and accelerating return on investment. More effective workforce scheduling can lead to a 20% cost-reduction.

Avaya Proactive Outreach Manager: Designed to work with Avaya Voice Portal to reach out to customers via self-service, Proactive Outreach Manager now places all multimedia interactions on a single platform. This enables businesses to go beyond outbound calling to more effectively use outbound notification campaigns incorporating several modes of communications. Hotels, for example, can use it to send room availability notices and promotions, while manufacturers can more effectively provide real-time updates on shipments.

Other contact centre introductions include a new version of Avaya IQ 5.1, a powerful reporting and analytics solution, and Avaya Aura Call Center Elite 6.0, Avaya’s call routing software for large enterprises.

More than 200 individual beta trials and or full implementations of Avaya solutions announced today are already underway. All Avaya solutions announced today are available now or will be available during the third quarter of 2010 through Avaya or authorised Avaya Connect Channel Partners.

This wide range of new and enhanced enterprise communications products and applications announced today are supported by Avaya Advisory Services, which provide consulting expertise for multi-vendor communications infrastructures and Avaya’s broad ecosystem of developer and channel partners. New to the Avaya Advisory Services is a Self-Funded Roadmap to help companies transform cost savings from prior technology deployments into process improvements to fund future technology investments.

Avaya Aura applications and architecture are complemented by Avaya’s recently announced data networking solutions and network management products, which the company says offer up to 50 percent less total cost of ownership (TCO) than the leading competitor, and are specifically built to handle the demands of real-time communications. Designed from the ground up to optimise video, mobile and voice interactions, Avaya’s fit-for-purpose, enterprise communications and data solutions deliver peak performance, efficiency and resiliency with a smaller footprint that reduces the cost and energy requirements of converging communications networks.

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