Companies must be gearing up for SpeechTEK coming up in a couple of weeks because of these major upgrade announcements. ShoreTel let loose its Contact Center 6. Avaya continues to build upon its Aura foundation.
Everything’s about real-time interactions — calls, emails, faxes, IMs, social media, ponies, and pigeon carriers.
Avaya Aura Contact Center aims to better manage the customer experience by making sense of all the interaction channels in order to easily assign a task to service the customer. It allows the customer to choose whichever method of interaction he (or she) prefers at the moment, and even later when using a different channel to follow up, Aura is supposed to keep up with the various interaction paths taken by the customer.
I’m sure this has happened to you before:
YOU: Hello. I am calling about a billing issue which I’d first notified via email about a week ago.
AGENT: I’d be glad to help you. What’s your account number please?
YOU: But I’d already entered it into the IVR… Anyway, here it is…
AGENT: Sorry, but I have no record of that email.
YOU: Okay, I’m going to start tweeting about this horrible experience…
AGENT: Um, what’s a tweet?
All right, maybe not the tweet part. But sill, somewhat frustrating, no? Only to the Web generation. Grandmas and grandpas would be happy just to speak to an agent after talking to the machine. Avaya is preparing for the flood of tech-savvy customers who aren’t shy, demand instant service, and have a very short attention span. And with Aura, it’s preparing for this future on many fronts, from Contact Center to UC to Conferencing to Session Border Control (yes, even that!), as you’ll see in the press release.
Aura will be a platform to be reckoned with.
Extra long press release here:
For Immediate Release: 20-Jul-2010
Basking Ridge, N.J. – Avaya, a global leader in enterprise communications systems, software and services, today announced a suite of new and enhanced product innovations and services based onAvaya Aura™ that redefine the economics and effectiveness of real-time, multi-media enterprise communications. These new tools and services make it possible to simultaneously accelerate decision-making and achieve meaningful financial impact, while moving enterprises towards a more people-centric approach to collaboration.
“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.”
New and enhanced capabilities in Avaya’s suite of Contact Center (CC) 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 virtualization 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 more1.
Today’s announcements include:
- Avaya Aura™ Contact Center, announced in a separate release today, is a new multimedia contact center application that extends to all types of media, including voice, e-mail, web chat, and instant messaging/SMS. Designed to further enhance the customer service experience, the new offering will help businesses more effectively manage customer experiences in an always-on world. Avaya Aura Contact Center complements the large enterprise solutions of Avaya Aura Call Center Elite and will serve as a multimedia extension to Call Center Elite in the future.
- Avaya Agile Communication 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. A new developer toolkit makes it easier to embed timely and personalized communications into business applications. With Avaya ACE, enterprises can communications-enable their business applications up to 80 percent 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. The Enterprise Edition, available later this year, will expand capacity and features to enable internal operator assistance, emergency blast dialing and more. Both editions integrate with UC applications from Avaya, Microsoft®, IBM® and Adobe® to offer a high-quality, integrated collaboration experience.
- 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, 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 virtualization technology, now encompasses all elements of the Avaya Aura architecture and applications portfolio, eliminating up to 80 percent of hardware compared to competitive solutions while reducing management, power requirements and costs.
- Avaya 9600 family of desk phones now offer larger, color 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 issued a new release of Avaya Communication Server 1000 (CS1000), which increases scalability, adds support for the IPv6 protocol and 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 in broader, more flexible, unified communications and collaboration deployments.
German energy provider, Energiedienst Rheinfelden, is among the first customers to adopt the new Avaya Aura 6.0 platform. The company provides electricity and other related services to more than 750,000 residents in southern Germany and Switzerland. With the adoption of the Avaya Aura 6.0 platform, the company is able to deliver superior collaboration and communications capabilities to its employees across its 26 locations, while creating a migration path for future communications investments. According to Friedhelm Bäumer, CIO at Energiendienst Rheinfelden:
“Avaya Aura is strengthening our communications infrastructure for the future. It enables staff-members to communicate and collaborate in an immediate, fast and efficient manner, even across sites. It is also making the switch from ISDN to SIP telephony a gradual one, allowing us to use existing equipment.”
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 authorized 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 spent time with us to really understand our business challenges and, using their Self-Funded Roadmap, we improved our customer satisfaction scores, achieving a 40 percent reduction in call waiting times, and the ability to handle call volumes with 30 percent fewer agents,” said Arnt Eirik Johnsen, controller customer operations, Ventelo. “This has allowed us to re-invest in our business and improve customer service.”
Avaya Aura applications and architecture are complemented by Avaya’srecently announced data networking solutions and network management products, which 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 optimize 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.
For additional information, including a detailed backgrounder on the Avaya Aura products and a white paper, please visit the Avaya press room online at: http://www.avaya.com/gcm/master-usa/en-us/corporate/pressroom/index.htm
JOIN AVAYA FOR THE LAUNCH: Avaya will host a series of global one-hour webcasts on today’s announcement for customers, partners and other interested parties. To register for the webcast associated with your location, please click on one of the following links:
- For the US, starting at 1:00 pm EDT today, click here.
- For Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Latin America and South America, starting at 2:30 pm EDT today, click here.
- For Asia-Pacific, starting at 11:30 pm EDT today, click here.
- For Europe, Middle East and Africa, starting at 5:00 am EDT, Wednesday, July 21, click here.
Avaya is a global leader in enterprise communications systems. The company provides unified communications, contact centers, data solutions, and related services directly and through its channel partners to leading businesses and organizations around the world. Enterprises of all sizes depend on Avaya for state-of-the-art communications that improve efficiency, collaboration, customer service and competitiveness. For more information, please visit www.avaya.com.