Avaya updates self-service software to enhance customer service in new era of intelligent communications

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Avaya Inc., a leading global provider of business applications, systems and services, has debuted new versions of its self-service software.

The new enhancements make it easier and more cost-effective to improve customer service with speech automation, and provide a foundation for using self-service to create faster, more productive business processes.

The new products, which were showcased at SpeechTEK 2007 in New York City, include Avaya Voice Portal 4.0, the companys flagship self-service software, and Interactive Response 3.0, one of the industrys most widely-deployed self-service platforms. Also unveiled was the new version of Avaya Dialog Designer 4.0, a tool for developing next-generation speech self-service applications.

Self-service applications give businesses an automated approach to customer service, enabling customers to have greater control over interactions. By speech-enabling self service, people can use spoken commands via phone to relay information to automated systems and complete transactions. Avaya Voice Portal uses Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and Web service technologies to let businesses integrate speech self-service into customer service and business processes.

The new version of Avaya Voice Portal features expanded support for the latest Internet standards, including CCXML, programmable Web Services and VoiceXML 2.1. This creates an open, multi-vendor environment that speeds and simplifies the integration of speech self-service, while reducing its cost of deployment. Avaya Voice Portal and Dialog Designer also feature new Web Services offering a faster, more cost-effective way to use speech in outbound calling applications. Outcall capabilities are important to businesses such as law firms or hospitals, which can use Avayas solution to more efficiently integrate speech into an existing appointment scheduling application, and have it automatically call clients to ask them to confirm appointments using speech.

Avaya Voice Portal also delivers scalability enhancements with a four-fold increase in the amount of simultaneous self service transactions that can be supported per system. This reduces total cost of ownership for operating self-service, and helps companies more efficiently manage self-service applications across an entire global enterprise.  Also, direct integration to SIP trunk lines helps businesses further lower network costs while providing a foundation for SIP presence in multi-media applications, such as video-based self-service.

Avaya Voice Portal has been designed to work with Communications Enabled Business Processes (CEBP) processes that automate the human collaboration required to conduct business. Voice Portals enhancements will simplify the integration of speech self-service within CEBP, helping to improve the automation of processes such as supply chains. For instance, Voice Portal can help notify purchasing agents when supplies run low, and ask them to answer automated questions or provide a status using speech.


Avaya To Help eTelecare Keep Customers Satisfied With Speech Self-Service

According to recent research from Frost & Sullivan[1], Avaya is the 2007 market leader in interactive voice response systems, with its self-service solutions used by a wide range of companies.  eTelecare Global Solutions (NASDAQ: ETEL), a leading provider of business process outsourcing (BPO) solutions, is a company who is turning to Avaya to bring self-service to many of its clients. eTelecare is in the process of implementing Avaya Voice Portal to help clients ranging from Fortune 500 financial firms to global technology companies enhance self-service functions (such as customer satisfaction surveys, menu navigation and transaction processing) using speech.

The value of speech in self-service is growing as it proves to be an important asset in the delivery of stellar customer service, said Kris Weitz Rammer, Chief Information Officer. Any time you can give a customer a human voice and a choice of options, you are adding value. We think Avaya Voice Portal will help us do this in the most advantageous and efficient way.

As a leading outsourcer of contact center solutions, eTelecare must use the most reliable and flexible solutions. According to Weitz Rammer, Avayas approach lets them use a complete self-service solution that can exist on a single, integrated platform. As a result, the company expects application development to be quicker and customer transactions to be faster.

"Leading enterprises are demanding customer contact applications which can be embedded in their customer communications processes, said Joe Outlaw, principal analyst, contact center solutions, Current Analysis. In addition, they want to be able to link, unlink, and re-link the applications in new ways rapidly and inexpensively to address new opportunities.  Avaya's Voice Portal is built on an advanced Web Services architecture specifically to support these kinds of communications processes through rapid and lower-cost integrations and reconfigurations."

More Details on New Products

In addition to Avaya Voice Portal 4.0, Avaya today introduced these new self-service products and tools. These products are now available globally:

Avaya Interactive Response 3.0 is a TDM and IP-based speech self service application that offers businesses the ability to evolve their proven self-service architecture to take advantage of the latest Web and speech technologies, including VoiceXML 2.1, the industry standard language used to develop speech self-service applications.  As a result, capabilities developed for Avaya Interactive Response are easily ported to the Avaya Voice Portal when a business is ready to evolve to IP telephony.

Avaya Dialog Designer 4.0 is an Eclipse-based application development tool that complements Avaya Voice Portal and Avaya Interactive Response by allowing businesses to accelerate development of speech self-service in traditional telephony and Web services environments.  This new release adds support for interacting with SIP signaling and the latest Nuance 9.0 speech technologies. IBM speech technologies are also supported.  Dialog Designer now supports industry-standard call control extensible markup language (CCXML) and enhances computer telephony integration and contact center capabilities through advanced scaling and failover features.        

Avaya Speakers Featured at SpeechTEK

During SpeechTEK 2007, Avaya executives and technology specialists will participate in a range of panels and presentations. These presentations include:

  • Which Speech Tools Are Right for You?  Monday, August 20, 3:00-4:00 p.m.  Matt Whipple, Avaya Solution Architect.
     
  • Getting the Voice User Interface Right When Recognition Goes Wrong.  Tuesday, August 21, 1:30-2:30 p.m.  David Martin, Avaya Solution Architect.
     
  • Advances in Video & Multimedia Application Design.   Tuesday, August 21, 2:45-3:45 p.m.  Val Matula, Avaya Director, Multimedia Research.
     
  • Deploying Speech Applications.  Tuesday, August 21, 4:15-5:15 p.m.  Bob Cooper, Avaya Voice Portal Chief Architect.
     
  • Watch Your Grammar when Designing the Speech Customer Experience.  Tuesday, August 21, 4:15-5:15 p.m.  Judi Halperin, Avaya Speech Engineer.
     
  • Special Cases in Voice User Interface Design.  Wednesday, August 22, 11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m.  David Martin, Avaya Solution Architect. 
  • Best and Worst Practices.  Wednesday, August 22, 3:15-4:15 p.m. Michael Perry, Avaya Director, IVR & Speech Portfolio.
     

About Avaya

Avaya delivers Intelligent Communications solutions that help companies transform their businesses to achieve marketplace advantage. More than 1 million businesses worldwide, including more than 90 percent of the FORTUNE 500, use Avaya solutions for IP Telephony, Unified Communications, Contact Centers and Communications-Enabled Business Processes. Avaya Global Services provides comprehensive service and support for companies, small to large.

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