Avaya customer engagement platform melds omnichannel and APIs

In UC news, Avaya announces a platform that combines Oceana and Breeze for omnichannel customer engagement, while a credit union deploys Vidyo for video-banking services.

Avaya has announced a new customer engagement platform that is comprised of Avaya Oceana, an omnichannel customer engagement service, and the Avaya Breeze developer platform. The customer engagement platform, called Avaya Customer Engagement Cloud, offers new contact-center capabilities and developer tools and can be deployed through public, private or hybrid cloud options.

With the help of Oceana, contact-center agents are now equipped with a visual, chronological map of a customer's journey with an actionable interface. The platform also supports bots that extend automation and analysis to all text-based channels. The platform also features customizable workflow automation and notifications to address use cases in specific industry verticals, such as healthcare and financial services.

The customer engagement platform, announced this week, can help organizations transition their customer-service portfolios to meet the needs of digitally savvy consumers, industry analyst Sheila McGee-Smith said in a statement. 

Avaya is emphasizing cloud services, such as the customer engagement platform, as declining hardware revenue lead to the company's bankruptcy filing in January. Avaya saw $804 million in revenue in the second quarter of 2017, down $71 million from the first quarter. The company is set for a July hearing with the bankruptcy court for its debt restructuring plan.

Credit union taps Vidyo for video-banking services

Baxter Credit Union, based in Vernon Hills, Ill., has deployed a video-banking service that leverages Vidyo's cloud-based video collaboration technology. The credit union plans to launch video-only branches in remote locations for customers who do not live near a branch.

Customers can now use the credit union's video banking from their homes, mobile devices or branch locations to connect with credit union representatives. Baxter Credit Union plans to launch the video-only branches later this year.

The video-banking service allows customers to connect with experts face to face regardless of location and recreate the in-branch experience, said Baxter Credit Union Chief Retail Officer Carey Price.

Video-banking services are growing in popularity to increase efficiency and customer engagement, according to a recent report by Vidyo, CUNA Strategic Services and the European Financial Management Association. Nearly 20% of banks have deployed video banking. More than 40% are piloting video-banking services and more than 80% are planning to offer video banking in the future. The report collected data from 282 financial institution representatives across 63 countries.

ShoreTel API available on Google Cloud Platform

Telecommunications provider ShoreTel, based in Sunnyvale, Calif., is now a Google Cloud Platform technology partner and has made an SMS API available through Google Cloud Launcher, which offers developers various tools and development stacks that can be deployed in an organization.

Through the Google Cloud Launcher, ShoreTel will offer developers the ability to integrate inbound and outbound SMS capabilities into new or existing applications using the SMS REST APIs of ShoreTel Summit, the vendor's communications platform as a service (CPaaS). With the ShoreTel API, developers can embed SMS capabilities into workflows or build custom apps for features such as customer notifications, appointment reminders and emergency alerts.

ShoreTel gained the CPaaS capabilities of Summit following its 2016 acquisition of cloud communications provider Corvisa, which developed the platform.

According to analyst firm IDC, the worldwide voice and text messaging CPaaS market is expected to grow from $867 million in 2016 to $8.2 billion in 2021. The market is moving from a hyper-growth startup phase to a critical-mass phase, IDC said.

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