Avaya: Ushering In a New Era of Unified Communications
Gary E. Barnett, SVP & GM, Engagement Solutions
With rapid technological developments and changing workplace demographics, the traditional organisational setup is undergoing a huge transformation. At the heart of this transformation is the influx of millennials who are trying to reshape the workplace into a flexible, creative environment. To revamp corporate communications with the changing times, companies are adopting unified communications (UC) solutions as a means to streamline their internal and external communication functions. With all available resources—smartphones, collaboration technology, and wireless internet—creating a flexible communication environment is no longer a pipe dream. However, implementing effective communication models requires a well-schemed process that can be daunting. Avaya [NYSE:AVYA], a global leader in digital communications software and services, is expert in shaping intelligent connections and creating seamless communication experiences for businesses of all sizes.
“Avaya empowers communication across the enterprise through a true “mobile first” approach to transform how, why, and when employees communicate with customers, partners, vendors, suppliers, and each other”
“As more and more companies embark on their digital transformation journey, they need to rethink their UC strategies,” remarks Gary E. Barnett, SVP & GM, Engagement Solutions, Avaya. “Organisations have to move away from traditional solutions if they want to compete and succeed in the age of intelligence.” Recognising these trends, Avaya empowers communication across the enterprise through a true “mobile first” approach to transform how, why, and when employees communicate with customers, partners, vendors, suppliers, and each other. Combining more than 100 years of expertise and innovation inside its walls, Avaya presents the best-rounded UC and contact center solutions today. By embracing the ever-changing nature of the industry, it allows companies to capitalize on the vast availability of current, historical, and predictive information that is finally accessible in the new age of intelligence.
With its extensive range of products and services, Avaya caters to a global clientele across a multitude of verticals in the private and government sector. With more than 28,000 companies leveraging its APIs and open platforms, “Avaya is leading the evolution from traditional UC to transformational UC. Our crown jewel in transformational UC is Avaya Equinox—designed to help enterprises keep team engagement at the forefront of their own enterprise digital transformations,” states Barnett.
Transforming UC with Equinox
Equinox helps companies improve employee engagement and collectively push their business forward by enabling analytics across the enterprise. Needless to say, Avaya is truly delivering on the promise of a transformational UC solution here.
“Avaya Equinox can mean the difference between business transformations and simply feature advancements,” states Barnett. The strength of the Equinox platform lies in its openness and interoperability, providing seamless integration between UC and contact center applications and supporting the bring your own applications (BYOA) concept. According to Barnett, “CIOs are not only thinking about turnkey but also about development tools for those apps. Just like in bring your own device (BYOD), CIOs are expected to support a growing number of applications that enter the enterprise.”
Bringing World-Class Experience
Just as employees have been challenged to work with team engagement applications that are not the latest and greatest, contact center agents have also quietly dealt with cobbled together desktops that force them to click through as many as 18 different applications during one customer service call. The notion of ‘one-and-done’ (one phone call, no transfers, problem solved) in the contact center isn’t always true from an agent experience perspective. “Any contact center, no matter how large or small, is mission-critical and one of the most complex areas of any business,” states Barnett. So, when Kroenke Sports & Entertainment (KSE), one of the world’s leading ownership, entertainment, and management groups, came to Avaya for a solution, they came through with a complete set of solutions that enhanced their internal productivity and marketing efforts, giving a seamless experience to their fans and sponsors. Hosting more than 200 games and events alike on an annual basis at Pepsi Center alone, KSE’s 1,200 employees continuously work to bring fans to events and deliver an unforgettable experience.
Equinox helps companies improve employee engagement and collectively push their business forward by enabling analytics across the enterprise
In order to provide a world-class experience for fans with their in-home HD screens, as well as unified communications for the business, KSE needed a network infrastructure capable of handling their extremely high existing as well as future requirements. Avaya’s virtual network solution, Fabric Connect, gave KSE a secure network foundation for virtualisation, mobility, and video. With an easy-to-manage new network design, they now seamlessly run a number of solutions, including Wi-Fi throughout venues and unified communications in support of all their business operations. “After a 12-month period, KSE generated six-figures in new revenue from in-app ads alone,” mentions Barnett.
Moreover, with Avaya Fanalytics, KSE provided more targeted marketing to fans and sponsors to improve social engagement. The cloud-based software platform visualises the fan engagement data and creates an optimised buying zone to make the most out of any event, hence tying the fan experience and marketing together.
“The next step for us is continuing to push the boundaries of experience,” explained Rick Schoenhals, vice president of IT at Kroenke Sports and Entertainment. “We believe in Avaya. We believe they have forward-looking products that understand what business is trying to do.”
Leading the Transformation Curve
Committed to openness, standards, agility, and scalability, Barnett points out the willpower inside the organisation to embrace the innovation coming from outside. Last year, Avaya launched Avaya Oceana available as a Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) ideal for BPOs, SIs, and virtually any size contact center that wants to leverage the power of cloud. Providing a broad option of cloud solutions that can meet the needs of any business, this solution has been proven successful straight out the gate, with more than 40,000 agents using it already. Furthermore, by maintaining an architecture that allows customers to have all the applications they need for customisation, Avaya has formed a technology partner ecosystem called DevConnect. It has drawn some of the biggest technology leaders in the world—a testament of how much Avaya truly invests in developing solutions and making sure they are of the highest standard.
When it comes to highest standards, Avaya Breeze is raising the bar. As the core development platform for every customer and team engagement solution the company is building, Breeze is a single, integrated environment. It provides the capabilities that extend across team and customer engagement, analytics, and communications platforms allowing applications to be built that reflect real business processes and customer requirements, not technology silos. Scalability, high availability, virtualisation, application management, provisioning, and security are all built into the platform. Developers are free to focus on solving business complexity, not application delivery and management challenges.
A Promising Future
Barnett points out their innovation track as part of the company’s product lifecycle process. While most companies cautiously approach the lifecycle by bringing safe products into the process, Avaya gives engineers and product managers the funding and time they need to explore highly disruptive ideas that they otherwise would not be able to explore. “As a company that embraces evolution, we are constantly driving our focus toward innovation to adapt to the changing trends in team and customer engagement. The one-and-done, click-to-collaborate generation of cloud-empowered, mobile employees is here to stay, and Avaya is readily leading the way,” concludes Barnett.