Avaya shares R&D methodology
Ahead of Avaya's technology forum in Dubai, ITP.net chats to Satish Murthy, Avaya’s Networking R&D Leader for India
ITP.net: Can you tell us what more about what you do at the R&D Centres?
MURTHY: Avaya's R&D centres continue the long heritage of inventions and engineering of over 140 years! Avaya innovates prolifically - we have one of the largest number of patents. Avaya R&D centres worldwide build high quality products based on customer needs and expectations. Our R&D centres in India, while an integral part of our worldwide effort, bring additional value to our customers in Africa and Asia by leveraging proximity to customers here. These markets often lead the world in deploying cutting edge yet sensible technology, and this is a great advantage for building solutions such as our latest AVAYA SDN/Fx (Fabric Extended) from our R&D centre at Bangalore.
ITP.net: Does Avaya write its own software or is the main focus on hardware?
MURTHY: Yes, Avaya builds both the software and the hardware that is required for our products to work. However, Avaya is a software company now. In an increasingly virtualised world, our focus is on being agile in delivering features to our customers. Avaya's SDN approach and Engagement Development Program in the UC space accelerates this direction by making the network and the UC infrastructure accessible to developers and partners to build valuable features for customers. All this to say that the world is increasingly a software world, and Avaya is leading it with its products
ITP.net: The R&D in Bangalore builds networking and mid-market solutions, why mid-market?
MURTHY: Mid-markets are now as reliant and progressive users of technology as large enterprises traditionally are. Whereas previously it was enough to have plain old telephony, mid-market customers are adopting full-featured UC products such as IP Office, contact centre solutions for mid-markets, BYOD and WLAN. Avaya completes the package with networking switches that work the best for this segment, such as the ERS 3500.
ITP.net: We have seen the technologies used in the iMashreq store in Dubai, are there any plans to bring more machines like this to the region? Would it just be for banks or other industries as well?
MURTHY: The VTM is a video-enabled, ATM machine like service station. It is an illustration of how Avaya transform traditional call centre operations to deliver a smarter, mobile experience in line with the country's objectives to transform Dubai into the smartest city in the world. Powered by Avaya SmartEngage, a combination of solutions and services that enable smart engagement, the Mashreq VTM, delivers self-service, video-enabled engagement between Mashreq customers and the bank's call centre, and have access to various banking services without the need to visit the branch. We are currently testing a number of video-enabled self-service kiosks in Africa, India and the Middle East with a number of customers in the healthcare, government, banking and hospitality industries. The applications of SmartEngage are not restricted to self-service kiosks. They extend to any wearable and mobile device such as how Dr. Suleiman Habib Medical Group, the largest healthcare operator in the Middle East is using Google Glass to deliver remote and mobile emergency services using SmartEngage. The applications have no limits and it is how Avaya is building mobile engagement environments.
ITP.net: This is the first time Avaya is bringing the ATF to the region, why now? And why Dubai?
MURTHY: There is one place this year that will foster technology innovation, thought leadership, learning and debate for enterprise communications under one roof, and that's the Avaya Technology Forum Dubai. This three days event will host industry professionals from all over the world, and deliver new choices that will transform the way technology delivers on the expectations of the business. We are expecting more than 500 technology experts and networking engineers to join us in more than 50 sessions that will cover a number of topics, including customer and team engagement, software-defined networking, cloud-based services, virtualisation, security and mobility. Additionally, our resident experts in unified communications and contact centre operations will discuss transformative technologies and trends, from BYOD and mobility to fabric networking and next-generation WLAN.
Dubai delivers the perfect infrastructure to host such as large event and is a central location to our customers and partners in the global growth markets. Ease of doing business, inviting guests and managing logistics are factor why we've held the Avaya Customers and Partners Forum 2015 in Dubai and why again, we are hosting technology professionals from over half of the world under one roof in Dubai.
ITP.net: What technologies from the R&D centre will you be specifically focusing on at ATF?
MURTHY: We are really proud of our SDN/Fx technology that was officially released in the recent past. It has set a cat among the pigeons. The simplicity of managing a fabric network is breathtaking, and so is its performance, extensibility, network virtualisation, ... I can keep going! We will be presenting all of this during the Avaya Technology Forum, and demos that makes the seeing and believing possible. Our WLAN technology is another area where we have much to show during the ATF. We will also be showing next generation call centre and unified communication capabilities that have never been seen before. Our guests will conclude ATF with choices of opportunities to grow, tools to succeed and opportunities to innovate.