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One of the key challenges for businesses is to keep making use of their existing on-premise infrastructure for services such as voice routing and call handling, while also accessing omnichannel voice and digital channels from the cloud.
Aiming to address the challenges and redefine the cloud journey, Avaya revealed a new platform at its Engage 2023 conference, along with expanded strategic alliances with Google and Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise.
The enhancements enable customers to benefit immediately from cloud capabilities, including new features and functionality of the Avaya Experience Platform – for which the company has also introduced a suite of hybrid services – while preserving their existing on-premise environments.
“By seamlessly integrating cloud innovations with Avaya Experience Platform, Avaya enables customers to embark on their cloud journey confidently and effortlessly,” said Ahmed Helmy, global vice-president and general manager of Avaya Experience Platform.
“Unlike ‘pure cloud’ vendors, Avaya allows customers to seamlessly layer innovative cloud capabilities onto their existing infrastructure to enhance customer and employee experiences while avoiding significant risks associated with typical ‘rip and replace’ approaches.”
The technology launch adheres to the new Avaya strategy of innovation without disruption introduced earlier at Engage 2023, which seeks to set the company apart from competitors through giving users the ability to make their cloud journey at their own pace while protecting their existing investments and not disturbing their proprietary voice implementations.
The strategy essentially facilitates mixed-estate deployments in which on-premise and cloud-based solutions co-exist. This co-existence is essentially critical within large, complex deployments, particularly within highly sensitive and/or regulated situations, such as critical care hospitals, financial services and banking, and governmental agencies.
“When growth is reliant on experiences, businesses can’t afford to keep riding the roller-coaster of rip, replace and wait,” said Liz Miller, vice-president and principal analyst at Constellation Research assessing the new go to market plan.
“Revenue is on the line; rolling the dice isn’t a strategy…Avaya will keep delivering innovation, but no customer gets left behind as the market continues to navigate the journey to the cloud. The approach centres around respecting the pace of change and reducing the amount of investment required for organisations to add best-in-cloud technologies [into their] customer experience processes to drive better business outcomes and enterprise-wide value.”
The Avaya Experience Platform Connect solution is seen as the vehicle with which the journey will be made, enabling their existing on-premises infrastructure for voice routing, call handling, and more, while accessing omnichannel voice and digital channels from the cloud. For example, call centre voice agents can now use advanced functionalities such as WebRTC voice, AI noise removal and personalised unified agent desktops.
The solutions are attributed with enabling customers to augment and enhance agent and customer experiences through interactions. For example, connecting digital touchpoints throughout the entire customer journey – from email, messaging, chat, social, and so on – as well as offering organisations the flexibility to bring your own channel (BYOC). It is also intended to introduce new channels to agents at a speed commensurate with companies’ capacity and performance, helping them to embrace omnichannel adoption, while improving customer satisfaction.
Speaking with Computer Weekly as to how this new journey will be facilitated through the company’s technology, Avaya’s senior vic- president of engineering, Todd Zerb, placed the Connect solution at the centres of the technology roadmap.
“It’s the communication gateway, the integration server, the glue that is going to basically tie a cloud service in with the [Avaya Elite Multichannel (EMC) software suite]. So, if you’ve got your solutions on-premise or even in a datacentre, stuff connected with cloud, the question then becomes, ‘How do you execute or how do you mitigate execution risk? How are you going to deliver that?’”
Zerb accepted that Avaya had faced execution problems in the past through issues such as a lack of a strategy and a focus problem. This, he said, is changing under a new executive management team that is brought focus into where the company is headed with innovation without disruption, helping to rationalise the “go forward strategy” which would see investment in people as well as processes.
“Looking at legacy, there are some things there that we probably need to rationalise further. But we have the strategy and the vision, and everybody’s buying into that now, and I feel [CEO Alan Na Masarek] is going to keep us on track there.
“Then there’s the execution piece of it. When it comes to the engineer, or engineering, we need some change in skill and different ways of working. We need to bring in people who understand cloud architectures. We also have a bit of a process gap and, in some ways, there’s a bunch of reasons why technology organisations fail to execute.
“I’ve been with Avaya for two years now. When I started, some of the things I brought [were] measures and metrics. So, we measure velocity, we measure on time delivery. If we said we’re going to deliver something, we used to deliver it about 10% of the time. Today, when we measure that same thing, it’s about 85% of the time. So, we’re not delivering 100%, but we’re delivering much, much better than what we had been.”
A key element in this roadmap is continuing to invest and strengthen strategic alliances with leading technology companies to enhance its cloud capabilities. Collaboration with Google Cloud is said to have resulted in next-generation contact centre AI solutions, based on Avaya contact centre technology with Google Cloud's AI and machine learning capabilities.
Additionally, Avaya Experience Platform has now passed the contact centre technical validation for Chrome Enterprise Recommended for ChromeOS. The programme is designed to help organisations find applications that make working on the web and in the cloud even better. Together, ChromeOS and Experience Platform are seen as being able to boost agent productivity and enhance security.
With Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, Avaya is looking to help global customers achieve their digital transformation goals. “Our partnership…helps both our companies accelerate our customers’ transformation to the cloud by delivering differentiated end user experiences, particularly in mission critical situations,” said Alcatel-Lucent chief business officer of enterprise, Rukmini Glanard.
“Avaya Experience Platform is a powerful portfolio that can help businesses of all sizes transform their communications. Avaya Experience Platform and Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise Digital Age Networking combine our complementary world-class enterprise solutions to support our customers’ digital transformation. We believe that this partnership will really help our customers to succeed in the digital age.”
Read more about customer experience technology
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