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New Avaya IP Contact Center Applications Enhance Customer Servicewith Intelligent Communications

06-14-2005

Avaya announced new contact center applications to help organizations enhance customer service in a 24/7 world.Avaya Inc. (NYSE:AV), a leading global provider of business communications applications, systems and services, today announced new contact center applications to help organizations enhance customer service in a 24/7 world. The next-generation Internet protocol (IP)-based applications seamlessly link a company's entire workforce - including contact center agents, branch office employees and knowledge experts in any location - to serve customers with greater speed, accuracy and efficiency. This helps improve customer experiences and agent productivity, while significantly reducing the costs of contact center operations.

The new applications - part of the Avaya Customer Interaction Suite - use intelligent communications to help increasingly distributed businesses overcome the challenges of connecting workers and processes with customers across the globe. New capabilities include:

  • Advanced Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) capabilities to accelerate the delivery of the right information, from the right expert, to customers calling at any time.
  • A new Web browser-based interface to let organizations more easily and cost-effectively deploy sophisticated multimedia contact center applications to agents anywhere.
  • Enhanced analysis capabilities to provide an easier way to apply business value to each interaction, such as profit per customer or revenue per agent, with greater detail.
  • New survivability features that provide awareness of available resources in the event of network failures to improve continuity across customer service operations.

"After years of slowed capital spending, businesses are actively seeking new ways to drive higher levels of personalization and efficiency in their customer service operations," said Sheila McGee-Smith, principal analyst, McGee-Smith Analytics. "By bringing IP technology - specifically the presence capabilities of SIP - into the contact center, and then marrying it to the functionality available for all enterprise users, businesses can dramatically increase first call resolution. With its new contact center solutions, Avaya offers its customers and the market an ability to extend the contact center into the enterprise in exciting new ways."

Avaya IP and SIP-powered Contact Center Solutions Personalize Customer Service, Reduce Total Cost of Ownership and Make Customer Analysis Easier
Today, Avaya introduces new SIP capabilities for its Avaya IP Agent solution - a contact center application that incorporates phone and contact center functions onto a PC. Integrated SIP-enabled presence and secure instant messaging (IM) let agents find and collaborate with knowledge experts throughout a business to speed service to customers. For instance, a home-based agent can use presence to see the availability of experts that can best serve a customer's request. After a quick IM exchange with the expert, the agent can obtain the information required and rapidly get it to the customer in a single session. IP Agent also integrates with new advanced segmentation capabilities to route customers and their data, such as transaction history or projected business value, to the right agents in a simpler, more cost-efficient way.

Lower total cost of ownership (TCO) is driven by the new version of Avaya Interaction Center software, which delivers a virtual IP contact center model to help businesses more efficiently deploy and manage customer service operations. An agent can use a new Web browser-based interface to consolidate all e-mail, chat and voice interactions, providing businesses with a simpler, more cost-efficient way of delivering contact center applications to agents anywhere. This eliminates the need for businesses to install and maintain software on every agent desktop, and instead deploys updated contact center capabilities to agents via a standard Web browser used on an existing PC. Additional efficiencies are gained by the new version of Avaya Call Management System software, which lets businesses use large distributed groups of agents more effectively through greater reporting detail and increased scalability.

The Avaya Customer Interaction Suite also provides enhanced analysis capabilities to let organizations go beyond traditional contact center measurements, such as average talk time, and now measure each customer, agent or interaction against important financial criteria. This includes categories such as units sold per agent, profit per customer, and purchase history. The resulting data lets organizations more easily apply business value to each customer and agent, make key comparisons, and adjust operations accordingly.

"With IP telephony, businesses can use every resource in their organization to serve customers better, faster and with greater levels of personalization," said Eileen Rudden, vice president, Enterprise Communications Applications pision, Avaya. "To achieve this, companies must be able to intelligently extend IP contact center applications to distributed agents, workers and experts in any location. Avaya's new applications help organizations turn nearly any part of their business or any employee into a contact center resource to improve customer service and increase revenue opportunities."

Avaya's new contact center applications also place a priority on high availability and open interoperability, two essentials of intelligent communications. New contact center survivability features include locally-sourced announcements and "music-on-hold" features, as well as the ability to automatically respond to network failures through awareness of available agents and applications. In open interoperability, Avaya's self-service solutions gain certification for VoiceXML, a standard that allows greater flexibility in how businesses build, deploy and manage speech applications.

Avaya Helps CDW Corporation Drive Contact Center Efficiency, Sales Productivity
CDW Corporation, a FORTUNE 500® provider of technology solutions for business, government and education, currently uses Avaya contact center applications including Avaya Call Center, Call Management System and contact center solutions powered by Avaya Communication Manager. According to CDW, contact centers are at the heart of its business and drive collaboration among customers, dedicated account managers and CDW's technology specialists. When the company faced the challenge of adding five new contact center locations, load balancing was a concern because the company didn't want one location flooded with calls while other locations had spare capacity.

Avaya contact center solutions resolved this concern by helping integrate the five locations into CDW's distributed contact center operations. Avaya's intelligent call routing capabilities evened out workloads and provided account managers with access to new productivity-enhancing capabilities. They also generated immediate cost savings by eliminating long distance calls between sites and routing voice and data over CDW's private wide area network. This enabled CDW to continue providing personalized customer experiences from every location, in a cost-effective way.

"With Avaya's solutions, calls can be shared across a single virtual contact center enabling intelligent routing that quickly delivers calls to the CDW coworker that can best respond to a caller's needs," said Rebecca Gosse, CDW telecommunications specialist. "Avaya provides us with the best contact center solution to serve our customers."

CDW also uses Avaya Call Management System software for contact center reporting, which according to Gosse, provides 'out of the box' reports that are easy to use, self-explanatory and reduce the time needed for training. For instance, account managers can easily write their own reports using the report wizard, while administrators can extract call center data for daily Intranet sales reports.

New Versions of Software in Customer Interaction Suite
The new applications are part of the award-winning¹ Avaya Customer Interaction Suite, which is composed of four categories: contact management, operational effectiveness, self-service and proactive contact. The suite is a key component of Avaya's family of IP-based MultiVantage™ Communications Applications. New software releases are within two of the categories: contact management and operational effectiveness.

Contact Management:
Interaction Center 7.0: New highlights include an easily deployed Web browser-based client, a streamlined interface customized to agent needs and new language support (Russian and Dutch).

IP Agent 6.0: A soft phone solution for agents that includes new SIP-enabled presence and instant messaging. The IP Agent integrates with Advanced Segmentation Routing 3.0, a new release that provides a low-cost, easy approach to segmentation 'screen pop' capabilities.

Call Center 3.0: New features include higher scalability, from 1,500 to 3,000 agents per skill (across a maximum number of 5,200 agents), new localized sourcing of music/announcements, easier creation of vector subroutines for rules-based routing and upfront survivability assessment capabilities.

Operational Effectiveness:
Operation Analyst 7.0: Delivers faster report creation with a new reports wizard, as well as the ability to design workflows to more easily apply business value to customers and interactions.

Call Management System 13: Real-time and historical reporting capabilities are expanded to show more detailed agent information, increase scalability, provide additional processing power, and assist contact center consolidation with more flexible license portability options.

A Customer Interaction Suite backgrounder is available in PDF format.

About Avaya
Avaya Inc. designs, builds and manages communications networks for more than one million businesses worldwide, including over 90 percent of the FORTUNE 500®. Focused on businesses large to small, Avaya is a world leader in secure and reliable Internet Protocol telephony systems and communications software applications and services.

Driving the convergence of voice and data communications with business applications - and distinguished by comprehensive worldwide services - Avaya helps customers leverage existing and new networks to achieve superior business results. For more information visit the Avaya Web site: http://www.avaya.com

¹ Frost & Sullivan Award for Contact Center Choice in North America, November 2004.

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