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Speak to me now! Next Generation Speech & Contact Centre Applications to Drive Customer Service


Avaya announced the launch of two new software applications that build upon its market leadership in contact centre technology for improved customer service.

Avaya Inc. (NYSE:AV), a leading global provider of business communications software, systems and services today announced the launch of two new software applications that build upon its market leadership in contact centre technology for improved customer service. The first addition to the company's contact centre portfolio is Voice Portal, a Web-based self-service platform that uses IP telephony with Web services to deliver advanced, interactive speech applications. Voice Portal meets the increased demand for speech-enabled applications to improve contact centre functionality and customer service. Also, following Avaya's success in outbound dialling, the company is launching Proactive Contact 3.0, which delivers a new variety of contact centre application that enables managers to achieve greater productivity and operational efficiency in their outbound campaigns. These two developments represent the next step in Avaya's strategy to drive customer service excellence.


"The telephone remains the most important channel for customer service, said Steve Cramoysan, Research Director at Gartner. "The availability of effective speech applications is enabling companies to improve their customer service operations, and driving growth in standards-based speech platforms."


Voice Portal

Avaya Voice Portal is the latest development in the company's enterprise contact centre portfolio.


It provides speech-enabled self-service and reduces significantly the costs of deployment by using a company's existing Web services in a Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) - a software-based approach to integrating disparate applications on open standards technologies. Voice Portal offers simplified management and integration capabilities tailored for globally distributed businesses, by giving IT supervisors a single interface to manage all self-service interactions across an entire organisation. Higher scalability gives IT staff a more flexible way to deploy speech self-service from as low as one port (i.e. speech interaction) to thousands of ports. Also, Voice Portal enables companies to experience increased business continuity as the platform is designed to withstand and recover from events such as network outages.


Customers will benefit from a variety of new features which include the Eclipse-based Dialog Designer, a new speech application development tool which provides greater return on investment (ROI) by making it easier and faster to integrate and develop new speech applications. Created for integration with Web services or in traditional environments, Dialog Designer supports both Avaya Voice Portal and Interactive Response.


"Businesses are linking communication and applications to give workers and customers the ability to connect to the right person, at the right time, over any network," said Owen Bridle, chief technology officer for Avaya in the UK, Ireland and Southern Africa. "Speech applications help businesses achieve this link in an easier, faster and more cost-effective way through greater speed and responsiveness to customers and employees. Providing value-added speech applications to businesses of all sizes, combined with worldwide services support, enables Avaya to help companies take advantage of speech for quantum leaps in customer service on a global scale."


Recently, Avaya has been positioned in the leaders quadrant for enterprise voice portals and interactive voice response (IVR) solutions in a report published by research and advisory firm Gartner, Inc.* The leaders quadrant is comprised of vendors that are recognised as having an established market presence and are actively building competencies to sustain their leadership position in the market.


According to the report, "The market for interactive voice response systems has changed significantly, and leading vendors now have to offer improved support for Internet standards, as well as better development tools and applications."


Proactive Contact 3.0

Based on Avaya's predictive dialling system, Proactive Contact 3.0, lets organisations easily enhance their contact centres with advanced customer outreach capabilities that increase the productivity of agents, drive new cost-efficiencies, and boost business continuity. Ultimately, this results in a higher volume of customer interactions that yield more satisfying customer experiences and improved business results.


Predictive dialling technologies help businesses proactively manage customer relationships and drive many key outbound services, such as telesales, service follow-ups, surveys and collection calling. The technology can automatically call customers, detect a live connection, and then ensure the right agent is connected instantly to the customer.


New Avaya Proactive Contact software enhances predictive dialling with new and sophisticated automation capabilities, known as 'Cruise Control', that boost agent productivity and supervisor efficiency. Cruise Control allows supervisors to view many parameters at once, and set the pace of calling activity, which will then be maintained automatically. To achieve this, the software uses key parameters such as the number of outbound calls answered and length of time on calls - all while assisting compliance with Government regulations. Proactive Contact can accelerate or reduce the pace based on its predictions of when agents are free or too busy, reducing 'nuisance calls' (i.e. calls that occur when a customer hears no sound on the other end) and minimising idle time for agents. Also, this helps increase efficiency by filling an inbound agent's 'downtime' with productive outbound work. Additionally, this new predictive dialling technology uses "least-cost routing," which identifies outbound agents in any global location and connects them to customers using the most cost-effective route.


In addition, greater business continuity is achieved through a new 'health management' application that reduces the complexity of managing outbound dialling. For example, if there is a problem with the main dialling server or if there is an outage of service on the network, the administrator can take immediate action to fix the problem, reducing downtime and better supporting 24/7 service for outbound dialling campaigns.


Avaya Proactive Contact and Voice Portal are due to be available respectively from October and December 2005 in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.


Avaya's business partners will be present on the following stands: Azzuri (E20), Call Centre Technology (F20), Central Telecom (A5), Dimension Data (A45), DeTeWe (H12), Redstone (F15), Sabio (B10), Spescom (G60) and Witness (D20).


Notes to Editors

For journalists attending the show, Owen Bridle is available for interviews on Wednesday 28 September at Avaya's stand (H30).


Photography available upon request.


The Avaya Voice Portal and Avaya Dialog Designer are part of the company's Customer Interaction Suite, a core component of Avaya's family of IP-based MultiVantage Communications Applications. The applications support many of the most common software standards including J2EE, JDBC, Java Servlet, WSDL, SOAP and XML.


The Avaya Voice Portal operates with Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and H.323 compliant media gateways, as well as traditional TDM architectures. It can be deployed on IBM WebSphere Application Server, Apache Tomcat, and other J2EE environments. Its distributed high-performance VoiceXML 2.0 media-processing software runs on any certified Red Hat Linux Enterprise 3.0 Intel or AMD platform. Also supported are standard speech engines through the MRCP standard. MRCP standard engines include IBM WebSphere Voice Server, ScanSoft Open Speech Recognizer and Nuance Verifier.


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:


Gartner Magic Quadrant for IVR Systems and Enterprise Voice Portals, 2005, by Bern Elliot and Drew Kraus.


The Magic Quadrant is copyrighted 2005 by Gartner, Inc. and is reused with permission. The Magic Quadrant is a graphical representation of a marketplace at and for a specific time period. It depicts Gartner's analysis of how certain vendors measure against criteria for that marketplace, as defined by Gartner. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in the Magic Quadrant, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors placed in the "leaders" quadrant. The Magic Quadrant is intended solely as a research tool, and is not meant to be a specific guide to action. Gartner disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to this research, including warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

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