Speak to me now! Avaya Voice Portal

Avaya has announced the launch of two new software applications for improved customer service in the contact centre market. The first addition to their contact centre portfolio is Voice Portal, a web-based self-service platform that uses IP telephony with web services to deliver advanced, interactive speech applications. Avaya says that Voice Portal meets the increased demand for speech-enabled applications to improve contact centre functionality and customer service. Secondly, Avaya is launching Proactive Contact 3.0, a contact centre application the vendor claims will enable managers to achieve greater productivity and operational efficiency in their outbound campaigns. These two developments represent the next step in Avaya’s strategy to drive customer service excellence.

Avaya delivers the facts on the two products as follows:

Voice Portal

Avaya Voice Portal provides speech-enabled self-service and reduces significantly the costs of deployment by using a company’s existing Web services in a Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) – a software-based approach to integrating disparate applications on open standards technologies. Voice Portal offers simplified management and integration capabilities tailored for globally distributed businesses, by giving IT supervisors a single interface to manage all self-service interactions across an entire organisation. Higher scalability gives IT staff a more flexible way to deploy speech self-service from as low as one port (i.e. speech interaction) to thousands of ports. Also, Voice Portal enables companies to experience increased business continuity as the platform is designed to withstand and recover from events such as network outages.
Customers will benefit from a variety of new features which include the Eclipse-based Dialog Designer, a new speech application development tool which provides greater return on investment (ROI) by making it easier and faster to integrate and develop new speech applications. Created for integration with web services or in traditional environments, Dialog Designer supports both Avaya Voice Portal and Interactive Response.

“Businesses are linking communication and applications to give workers and customers the ability to connect to the right person, at the right time, over any network”, said Owen Bridle, chief technology officer for Avaya in the UK, Ireland and Southern Africa. “Speech applications help businesses achieve this link in an easier, faster and more cost-effective way through greater speed and responsiveness to customers and employees. Providing value-added speech applications to businesses of all sizes, combined with worldwide services support, enables Avaya to help companies take advantage of speech for quantum leaps in customer service on a global scale.”

Proactive Contact 3.0
Based on Avaya’s predictive dialling system, Proactive Contact 3.0, lets organisations easily enhance their contact centres with advanced customer outreach capabilities that increase the productivity of agents, drive new cost-efficiencies, and boost business continuity. Ultimately, this results in a higher volume of customer interactions that yield more satisfying customer experiences and improved business results.

Predictive dialling technologies help businesses proactively manage customer relationships and drive many key outbound services, such as telesales, service follow-ups, surveys and collection calling. The technology can automatically call customers, detect a live connection, and then ensure the right agent is connected instantly to the customer.

New Avaya Proactive Contact software enhances predictive dialling with new and sophisticated automation capabilities, known as ‘Cruise Control’, that boost agent productivity and supervisor efficiency. Cruise Control allows supervisors to view many parameters at once, and set the pace of calling activity, which will then be maintained automatically. To achieve this, the software uses key parameters such as the number of outbound calls answered and length of time on calls – all while assisting compliance with Government regulations. Proactive Contact can accelerate or reduce the pace based on its predictions of when agents are free or too busy, reducing ‘nuisance calls’ (i.e. calls that occur when a customer hears no sound on the other end) and minimising idle time for agents. Also, this helps increase efficiency by filling an inbound agent’s ‘downtime’ with productive outbound work. Additionally, this new predictive dialling technology uses “least-cost routing,” which identifies outbound agents in any global location and connects them to customers using the most cost-effective route.

In addition, greater business continuity is achieved through a new ‘health management’ application that reduces the complexity of managing outbound dialling. For example, if there is a problem with the main dialling server or if there is an outage of service on the network, the administrator can take immediate action to fix the problem, reducing downtime and better supporting 24/7 service for outbound dialling campaigns.

Avaya Proactive Contact and Voice Portal are due to be available respectively from October and December 2005 in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

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