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Avaya's New CEM Platform Makes Everyone a Customer Agent

Avaya's New CEM Platform Makes Everyone a Customer Agent

As employees become increasingly mobile and customers become increasingly fluent with new technologies, businesses must find innovative ways to extend and deepen relationships. Offering a connected experience has never been more important. Avaya's new CEM platform aims to give enterprises a secure, easy to use, reliable, affordable means to flexibly accommodate business dynamics and deliver measurable benefits.

By Erika Morphy CRM Buyer ECT News Network
03/11/13 5:00 AM PT

Avaya unveiled the latest iteration of its customer experience management platform last week, introducing new analytics functionality and a multichannel focus on communication.

Avaya Aura
(click to enlarge)

The new platform's big-picture mission is to foster holistic customer service -- an experience that will become a differentiator for that business, said Laura Bassett, director of product marketing for Avaya CEM and emerging applications.

The platform comes with a wide range of functionality -- features that are easy to adopt or ignore as the situation dictates.

"We want to help users optimize and evolve by layering on these various technologies as they find the need to adopt them," Bassett told CRM Buyer. "Our goal is to enable them to create a better customer experience without creating a major disturbance to their operations."

New Functions

New or enhanced functions in the platform include multichannel capabilities, automated chat, speech analytics, contact flow analytics and -- to be added in April -- a virtualized environment.

The multichannel feature -- Avaya Aura Call Center Elite Multichannel -- incorporates Web chat, social media, SMS, IM and email onto Avaya's call center software. It lets companies incorporate these various channels into the call center environment and on the agent desktop fairly easily, Bassett said.

Avaya Automated Chat integrates with live chat support, facilitating the transition from self-service to live service via its intelligent response engine. There is an optional Answer Desk feature that allows non-chat agents to tap the automation engine to get answers for their non-chat customer contacts.

Avaya Speech Analytics is a feature that mines customer interactions, typically telephone calls, for business intelligence that might be missed in text-based or manual analyses.

The Avaya Contact Flow Analytics uses similar analytical functionality and visualization tools -- such as flow graphs, dashboards and tabular reports -- but aims it all at the call center processes, such as the effectiveness and efficiency of routing and agent performance.

Finally, Avaya Customer Experience Virtualized Environment -- soon to be released -- will provide contact center applications such as skills-based routing, multichannel interactions, reporting and self-service capabilities optimized for VMware environments.

"We have long offered solutions in virtualized fashion," Bassett explained. What is new about this feature is that "it provides the full stack."

The Logical Center

Companies can use these various pieces however they see fit to address their customers' needs. Increasingly, companies are realizing that the contact center is the logical organization point for their various customer channels, Bassett said.

In the digital economy, "everyone at a company is an agent for the consumer, no matter where they are. That has made the contact center a revenue function rather than a cost center."

It was that premise, she said, that ultimately drove all of the changes to the platform.


Erika Morphy has been writing about technology, finance and business issues for more than 20 years. She lives in Silver Spring, Md.


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