Avaya rolls out more Millennial friendly customer contact suite

Summary:Avaya launched a next generation software suite for call centers designed to integrate more customer service contact channels such as email, chat, IM and social networking.

Avaya on Tuesday launched a next generation software suite for call centers designed to integrate more customer service contact channels such as email, chat, IM and social networking.

Chris McGugan, vice president product management at Avaya, said the software is designed to better route customers through multiple communications channels. Avaya's big goal is to be the hub for various customer interactions. For instance, companies have call centers, service agents devoted to channels like Twitter and Facebook, a system for live chat and email and IM applications. Meanwhile, these systems aren't connected.

Avaya's contact center software suite, dubbed Aura Contact Center, is designed to manage these various customer channels and better assign work. Avaya's contact center suite was part of a broader unified communications update from the company. Contact Center is also set up to track conversations through various service channels. In a nutshell, a customer won't have to explain his or her problem repeatedly after switching channels, say an interactive voice response system to IM to an agent. According Avaya, routing calls and transferring customers between contact channels leads to a 20 percent data loss.

Meanwhile, the Avaya suite is designed to bring context and data to each interaction and standardize scripting across various mediums, something the company calls "common dialogue management."

Among the key pieces:

  • Workflow Optimization to better assign work cut training time and give supervisors a view of all customer interactions by channel.
  • Proactive outreach to conduct multimedia interactions via any means. McGugan noted that it's possible that a company could send you a direct Tweet or ask for an IM session.
  • A reporting and analytics system called Avaya IQ 5.1.
  • The software comes in standard and an elite addition for large enterprises.

In the big picture, Avaya is seeing a world where service reps are going to have to be multidimensional and use multiple channels. In addition, traditional scripting methods may not work as well. "Millennial interactions are changing," he said. "Voice was the predominant challenge, but now channels are alternating. You can see Web self service doubling."

As a result, you wonder if we'll need agent upgrades to go along with new software capabilities.

Separately, Avaya rolled out its unified communications suite, which primarily competes with Cisco's offerings. Among the key parts:

  • Avaya Agile Communications Environment, which is designed to enable business applications to better communicate and broadcast things like inventory levels and security breaches.
  • Avaya Aura Conferencing, which allows for audio, video and Web conferencing on a server and integrates with collaboration software from Microsoft, IBM and Adobe as well as Avaya.
  • Avaya Aura Messaging, which provides rich messaging and storage.
  • And various modules for SIP-based phones and systems, virtualization technology and a new communications system.

Here's the summary:

Topics: Collaboration, Enterprise Software, Social Enterprise, Tech & Work


Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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