• April 20, 2007
  • By Coreen Bailor, (former) Associate Editor, CRM Magazine

Avaya Moves Its Midsize Message Forward

Avaya has added bulk to the segment of its portfolio that caters to the SME contact center market with the global availability of Avaya Customer Interaction Express (CIE), a contact center suite for organizations with up to 150 contact center agents. The integrated software suite, which, according to the company, works with any communications system, including Avaya Communication Manager, handles inbound and outbound customer interactions across various touch points like phone, email, fax, and text messaging for mobile devices. CIE is the first Avaya contact center offering developed in EMEA; the firm worked with midsize EMEA customers like Schonherr Bindesysteme GmbH and SMS Schleinig Marketing Service GmbH to deploy and test the product. The system is equipped with routing, automated self-service (including IVR, speech recognition, and text-to-speech functionality), outbound campaign management, and reporting capabilities, and allows companies to scale as needed. "Customer Interaction Express demonstrates Avaya's commitment to help midsized [businesses] achieve the benefits of Intelligent Communications by offering a full-fledged multimedia contact center solution that rivals the capabilities of larger companies," said Jim Smith, vice president and general manager of Avaya's customer service applications division, in a written statement. "Customer service plays a key role in gaining competitive advantage, and companies of all sizes recognize the benefits of enhancing customer care operations," said Mona Sultan, an analyst at Datamonitor, in a written statement. "Market trends toward advanced service technologies, including self-service and multimedia, can be expected to continue across industries and business market segments." CIE is indicative of Avaya's latest efforts to gain further traction with the midsize sector. Other Avaya solutions suited for that market include Avaya Meeting Exchange Express conference solution (announced the same day as CIE), Avaya Contact Center Express, which provides CTI and multichannel capabilities, Avaya IP Office, Avaya MultiVantage Express, and other Avaya Communication Manager-based solutions. "What Avaya is doing with the CIE announcement is productizing globally an asset from its Tenovis acquisition a couple of years ago--that's positive," says Sheila McGee-Smith, president and principal analyst of McGee-Smith Analytics. (Avaya announced in November 2004 that it had completed its acquisition of Tenovis GmbH & Co. KG, a European provider of enterprise communications systems and services.) "It's something that was built for the European market, and as a result has attributes that are attractive to that market. For example, SMS, not quite as common in the U.S., has been more common in the European market for years. So, the product out of the gate supports SMS that not all North America-centric products support today." Related articles: Virtual Customer Contact
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