• July 12, 2011
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

Avaya Adds to Its Aura Contact Center Suite

Avaya today released three new contact center applications that tie into the Avaya Aura Contact Center Suite. These applications are designed to help businesses create competitive advantage through differentiated customer experiences across an array of multimedia channels, including social media.

The first of these products, Avaya Aura Contact Center 6.2, is a multimedia assisted care application that enables businesses to solve customer issues by bringing all the key parties—agent, experts, and customers—along with all the relevant customer information, into a session. New capabilities include the following:

  • Simpler collaboration with experts through integration with Avaya Session Manager. When a customer arrives, the agent's portal displays the appropriate experts to handle the query, and the experts' availability via presence. Managers can create custom views or large groups of experts based on available times and skills.
  • Social media integration into the agent desktop, making it easier for agents to communicate with customers by automatically capturing and responding to relevant tweets and Facebook updates.
  • Support for up to 90,000 agents in a single virtual network, due to new integration with Avaya Aura Communication Manager.
  • Multimedia capabilities that are now unified with Avaya's automatic call distribution application, Avaya Aura Call Center Elite, enabling unified desktop, reporting and administration.

The second component, the Avaya Aura Experience Portal, optimizes Avaya's automated services platform for inbound and outbound multimedia interactions. New capabilities include the following:

  • Improved customer experiences through integration with Avaya Aura Contact Center. This enables seamless hand-offs of customers and their contexts from self-service sessions to live or automated agents, helping to eliminate the frustration of customers repeating data already captured in self-service.
  • More cost-effective self-service through Experience Portal's ability to be deployed in a virtualized environment, which converts a single server into multiple virtual servers.
  • Faster application development for self-service driven by the new Avaya Orchestration Designer, which enables the creation of multimedia self-service applications using existing Web applications. It includes new development tools to address hand-offs from automated to agent-assisted care.
  • Unified migration of standards-based applications from Avaya Interactive Response, Avaya Media Processing Server and prior releases of Avaya Voice Portal. 

The final element is the Avaya Social Media Manager, an integrated solution that allows businesses to scan social media content; analyzes the content for relevance; and then enables customer service agents to take action. Avaya Social Media Manager can easily integrate with Avaya Aura Contact Center 6.2, enabling a company to incorporate social media into the single view that agents use for managing multimedia customer interactions.

Key capabilities of the Social Media Manager include the following:

  • Sentiment tracking by assigning a score to social media communications such as tweets (i.e. higher positive number equals a more positive sentiment). This can identify trends in real time, and the users driving them, to enable fast, relevant responses.
  • Suggested responses can be provided to employees handling social media-driven customer inquiries, taking topic and customer history into account, while still enabling agents to personalize interactions with customers over social media.

The launch of the Social Media Manager also coincides with the launch of Avaya's Social Media Consulting Services to help businesses integrate a social media channel into their customer sales and service strategy. The services follow a consistent methodology, including a social assessment, strategy development, roadmap creation, and adoption plan, all tailored to a business' specific requirements.

"Today's consumers use many more modes of communications—email, text, video and social media. As these multimedia requirements evolve into 'transmedia' needs—characterized by the seamless transfer of information across all kinds of communications—companies must effectively integrate all of these modes for consistency," said Onkar Birk, general manager of Avaya's Contact Center Division, in a statement. "Avaya addresses this with products driving high-quality customer experiences across various media, turning those experiences into competitive assets."

Jorge Blanco, vice president of product marketing for contact center solutions at Avaya, says these new products are not only "complementary to each other," but they help businesses make sure customer service "is consistent from end to end."

"These tools allow businesses to connect all the channels," he says.

In addition, Blanco says the solutions were "designed from the ground up to be session-based." With them, "users can hold all types of sessions together," he adds.

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