The communications experience

Avaya is planning on extending its prominent position in the market by expanding its contact centre and unified communications portfolio.

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By  Sean Robson Published  October 13, 2008

Avaya is planning on extending its prominent position in the market by expanding its contact centre and unified communications portfolio.

Contact centres are an increasingly important port of call for service providers and enterprises alike. They are testimony to a growing market, and Avaya aims to expand its footprint as a leader in the space.

"If you think about Avaya's role around contact centres, we have always branded ourselves in the telephony space and the interaction channels. That focus has however shifted of late as the overall spending surrounding contact centres reaches US$300 billion with annual growth rates pegged at 12%," says Bob Lyons, VP and GM of the contact centre division at Avaya.

Our focus has shifted of late as the overall spend surrounding contact centres reaches US$300 billion with annual growth rates pegged at 12%.

Lyons believes that the key to success in the contact centre is around the user and customer experience. "If you keep an eye on the media you will see the idea of customer experience coming up more and more. I read about a study that was done of leaders in 1000 Fortune 500 companies and 95% of them said that managing the customer's experience was their number one priority as a business because that was their primary differentiation," explains Lyons.

Lyons continues, "80% of the leaders thought they were doing a good job, while only 8% of their customers thought they were doing a good job. It's in that discrepancy that Avaya seeks to improve the status quo."

"We will launch a performance platform, which will integrate data in the contact centre and allow companies to build customer support applications. The idea is to get all the data and channels together, by which Avaya becomes the platform of choice for maximising overall customer experience," says Lyons.

"Our strategy and investment over the next 18 months will be towards broadening the installed base in our platform between our midway communications as well as our contact centre platforms. We have not extended that platform in quite some time," says Lyons.

In terms of products and solutions aimed at the enterprise space, Avaya promises to continue working on its unified communications portfolio and extending on the established one-X brand. "One-X has proved quite successful as a result of its ability to interface across a wide range of platforms. Our desk phone interface is cohesive with our thick client or PCs. Our thin client runs on a variety of operating systems being a portal fashion, and also our mobile environment," says Jorge Blanco, vice president of solutions marketing at Avaya.

"These solutions will obviously continue to evolve. At the same time we are furthering our integration with desktop providers like Microsoft and IBM. For example, Microsoft Office Communications Server will continue to grow, and on the IBM side we will keep updating their real time product line, specifically Domino 8," says Blanco.

Avaya's next product release cycle is in November and the one-X desktop is set to be made available, with the rest of the product line to follow.  "In addition, we made an acquisition in February 2007 of Ubiquity software, and you will soon be seeing that asset feature very prominently on the core of our reference architecture. It is going to give us a number of different things," says Blanco.

He elaborates, "It will give us massive scale and ability to leverage cessation protocol for very large networks. At the same time, we can move to new levels of integration and new applications that we will be able to integrate onto the environment. We can make all of this available to our one-X users."

Blanco says that vendors need to shift focus and to pay particular attention to the business decision maker. "Decisions need to be made that are often completely disconnected from IT. We are seeing users moving to different types of work environment, be it home, a mobile office or even a remote location. They need the tools we can give," adds Blanco.

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