Gary E. Barnett, SVP & GM, Engagement Solutions
“Digital transformation is the ‘two-word’ reality of every industry today, and is largely driven by the shift in the way customers, companies, and employees communicate. As such, the contact center plays a major part in this shift towards digitalization as it directly impacts customer experience,” states Gary E. Barnett, SVP and GM, Engagement Solutions, Avaya. Today, the contact center, being the central point of an enterprise’s overall customer experience, is the top priority for businesses striving to meet rapidly growing expectations of customers and employees. When it comes to steering the entire customer journey to create a great experience, Avaya is the best bet. The company has been continually recognized as an industry leader in delivering superior communications experiences with its portfolio of software and services for omni-channel contact center and unified communications.
An All-Embracing Approach
From the very beginning, Avaya’s approach to help companies digitally transform, has been focused on how customers, employees, and companies engage. Taking into account the various attributes ranging from omni-channel solutions, artificial intelligence, and open APIs to cloud options and open, extensible platforms, the company creates a unique and personalized customer experience through data-driven insights. “At Avaya, we have crafted our solutions around these attributes ensuring everything in a company is communications-enabled,” says Barnett. Avaya Oceana™, for example, is a purpose-built, omni-channel solution that revolves around customer engagement. The solution allows the users to personalize every step of a customer’s journey with the company. It facilitates complete integration and management of traditional phone and digital channels, allowing companies to have a 360-degree view of its customer contacts and interactions. By preserving the relevant context of every customer interaction and giving real-time, fully meshed insights into the client base, this solution enables the seamless transition of customers from one channel to another.
This all-encompassing approach is made possible by powerful analytics facilitated by Avaya Oceanalytics™, an open analytics solution that puts all channels in a single place for significantly easier and more efficient usability. Oceanalytics breaks down the silos around traditional analytics tools and helps capture and capitalize on big data within and across the enterprise. Oceanalytics Insights offers clients a rich visualization of data to fuel real-time, smarter decision making to drive customer satisfaction and improves customer loyalty. By providing customers the perfect experience with the device of their choice, Avaya has become the partner of choice for companies seeking to deliver digital customer experiences through integrated support for all media channels.
Digital transformation is not just about offering top-notch experience to customers digitally, but also the shift in internal collaboration among employees. Efficient team interaction has a major influence on the capability of individuals or groups to accomplish individual and shared goals. Facilitating employee engagement, Avaya Equinox™ makes communication simple, transparent, in context, and user-defined. The company is redefining unified communications to be the natural, convenient way to engage, respond, and share. Avaya Equinox supports real-time engagement by integrating voice, video, data, messaging, conferencing, and mobility. To help mobile users stay on top of interactions, Avaya Equinox ensures that all communications are in one place and allows immediate action with just one touch. With unrivalled mobility, scalability, and flexibility to support every location, from small branches to corporate headquarters, Avaya enables its customers to transform and stay ahead in the game.
However, a groundbreaking solution in Avaya’s product suite is Avaya Breeze™ which is meant for developers. Avaya Breeze enables enterprises and developers to build and deploy collaboration and customer engagement applications in a day’s time without prior communication development skills. This type of communications-enablement was highly complex, but with Breeze, it is very easy. It is a single integrated application platform designed to work in conjunction with any device or system. The platform reduces time and effort for application development by offering scalability, high availability, virtualization, provisioning, application management, and security. This allows developers to focus on what is important—solving business complexity instead of application delivery and management. Developers can further cut down on the hours and effort invested in communications-enabled applications and workflows by adding complimentary functionality into the Avaya Breeze platform, allowing a ‘write once, integrate everywhere’ model. Through the use of virtualization, Avaya Breeze offers multiple deployment options, which means customers no longer need to worry about hardware requirements.
Saving the Dollars
Avaya Stadium is unlike any other, giving fans an experience unlike any other
Avaya began digitally transforming itself by implementing its own solutions internally so they could generate the return on investment. “The primary value driver for us is the efficiency of our products. So we used our own solutions internally to transform our own customer support center which helped us realize more than $1 billion in savings over a period of four years. Additionally, it resulted in an 18 percent increase in employee engagement,” declares Barnett.
"At Avaya, We Have Crafted All Our Solutions Around The Attributes Of Digital Transformation, Making Sure Everything And Every Process In A Company Is Communications-Enabled"
Another project that demonstrates the benefits of adopting Avaya Breeze was conducted by Michigan State University (MSU), a large educational institution and an early adopter of Avaya Breeze. By leveraging Avaya Breeze, MSU has already created more than 50 communications-enabled applications on their own, including an elevator emergency notification application that identifies the elevator location and floor, directs the passenger’s call through MSU’s contact center, and simultaneously notifies the school’s on-call maintenance staff. With the help of this application, the customer has reduced overall callout time and also eliminated the need for a third-party service contract.
Traversing Unknown Waters
What differentiates Avaya from its competitors is its fresh approach to meeting digital contact center challenges. While the company has established itself as a leader across industries with its extensive expertise and innovative solutions, it has also created a stir in the sports and entertainment industry with the solution it has deployed at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, CA, home of the San Jose Earthquakes. The cloud-enabled solution supports the high-bandwidth demands at the stadium, from Wi-Fi to videoconferencing to rapid video capture for player analysis. The company delivers immense value through this solution including greater fan engagement, leading to increased revenue, reduced demand on the IT team due to ease of using the solution, and increased social media activity across all social platforms, ensuring more promotion of the team. “Avaya Stadium is unlike any other, giving fans an experience unlike any other,” expresses Barnett.
Avaya’s communications-enabling innovation in areas such as IoT, Chatbot artificial intelligence (AI), predictive analytics, and mobility are having an impact on how customers are transforming their contact centers and their enterprises. According to Barnett, Chatbot AI has long grabbed Avaya’s attention. With Avaya Oceana™ for example, Chatbot is a standard feature that was built-in during development, not bolted on as an afterthought. AI has already dramatically improved customer experience by helping representatives with relevant customer data, and better routing and managing calls and agents. With AI bots, the experience is only going to get better as it not only has the ability to store endless amounts of data but also communicate with customers, thus imitating a customer service representative. This would confirm Gartner’s prediction that, by 2020, 85 percent of all customer interactions will no longer be managed by humans. Another application of AI which is redefining how contact centers work is predictive analytics. As the term suggests, it helps to aggregate all available data about a customer and compare it to predictive models for behavior and emotion, enabling reps to offer solutions most suitable to the customers’ requirements.
While the communications space is witnessing a number of interesting technological advancements, Barnett highlights that digital transformation has also brought about a cultural change in consumer behavior and within companies. It is an area of utmost interest not only for the c-suite executives but also for the entire company—from basement to boardroom. “It’s not just a technology transformation but a procedural and cultural transformation, too. Given our market leadership in communications solutions, our access to the industry’s largest installed base of users and our focus on innovative applications development platforms, Avaya is positioned incredibly well to take advantage of this game-changing transformation.”