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ORLANDO, Fla. – Avaya has released a cloud-based service to help contact centers spend less on toll-free numbers by better managing incoming calls from mobile phones. The vendor also announced plans at Enterprise Connect this week to add collaboration tools to Avaya Equinox Experience, its user interface for communication services delivered to mobile devices and web-based applications.
Avaya Mobile Experience detects when an incoming call to a toll-free number is coming from a mobile phone and asks those callers whether they would prefer to continue their query through a web or mobile application. If the callers accept the offer, the platform will send them a text message with further instructions.
For mobile callers who chose to continue the toll-free call, Avaya Mobile Experience will determine the location of the caller and provide that and other contextual information to the contact center agent. The additional information could help contact centers more efficiently serve mobile callers because the area codes of many cell phones don’t correspond to the owner's current location.
"It offers the potential for contact centers to drastically reduce the cost of supporting inbound 800 calls, and will support both Avaya and non-Avaya contact centers," said Irwin Lazar, an analyst at Nemertes Research, based in Mokena, Ill. "I expect this offering to gain a great deal of traction, especially in the large contact center market."
Avaya also announced a partnership with the cybersecurity firm Post-Quantum to develop an identity-as-a-service (IDaaS) platform that will eventually be incorporated into Avaya Mobile Experience. The tool, which is expected to go live in late 2018, will be able to authenticate the identity of mobile callers using biometrics such as fingerprints, voice prints, and facial recognition.
"The IDaaS offering is equally interesting, though I suspect it will take longer to demonstrate enterprise benefit as it will require customers to enable customer identification techniques such as biometrics," Lazar said.
Avaya adds team collaboration to Equinox Experience
Avaya will launch a new user interface for Avaya Equinox Experience in May that integrates with Zang Spaces, its cloud-based team collaboration app. Avaya will rebrand Zang Spaces under the Equinox Experience brand and offer a certain number of team rooms at no additional cost to Equinox users.
Avaya Equinox Experience, which syncs with Avaya Aura and Avaya IP Office, embeds communications directly into applications, web browsers or mobile devices. Equinox-delivered services include voice and video calls, instant messaging, and scheduling. The integration with Zang Spaces will also give the platform team collaboration abilities similar to Slack, including screen and file sharing and task management.
Initially, the team rooms will exist in a separate user interface from Equinox Experience, but the two platforms will be linked and share some controls, such as the ability to start an ad-hoc meeting. Avaya plans to merge the two platforms into one but has not said when.
The team collaboration integration puts Avaya "on a more competitive playing field" with platforms such as Cisco Spark, Unify Circuit, RingCentral Glip, and Microsoft Teams, said Rob Arnold, an analyst at Frost & Sullivan.