Avaya Promises 'CEBP 2.0' With Latest ACE Update

Avaya Monday released an update to Agile Communication Environment (ACE), the software it offers for embedding communications tools into business apps.

The release is part of a broader strategy by Avaya to push communications-enabled business process (CEBP) opportunities and also provide richer integration with Aura, its virtualized UC platform.

ACE was a Nortel product, first introduced in 2007. Following the acquisition of Nortel's enterprise unit late last year, Avaya confirmed that ACE would see Aura integration as part of its integrated Avaya-Nortel product roadmap.

The new features in ACE version 2.3 include packaged applications and Web services available on Aura, a client-side add-on that enables click-to-call for Microsoft Communicator clients using Avaya desk phones, and an application for embedding voice functions in IBM Lotus Notes 8.5.1 and Sametime.

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Sajeel Hussain, director of UC marketing for Avaya, said the 2.3 release is a big step toward "CEBP 2.0": next-gen CEBP platforms that are naturally more flexible and easier to integrate, with less emphasis on specific vendor products and specific PBX systems.

"ACE and Aura are inherently multi-modal in nature, and multi-vendor," said Hussain. "What's different is how ACE and Aura coming together can simplify the embedding of communications into applications."

The new ACE also includes a toolkit, Foundation, that allows developers more flexibility in how they drive several application functions automatically, based on specific communications criteria.

For example, said Hussain, a legal firm that wants an application that can identify and record client conversations automatically, as well as bill the client for those conversations.

"When a phone call comes, and also as that call is terminated, a sequenced application would kick in and identify that there's a client who's calling, we would like to record the conversation, and as its completed, send the entire recording off to another application, a transcription service," Hussain explained. "Then it sends an e-mail along and there's a PDF file with the entire transcript. How helpful is that from a regulatory perspective or an audit perspective?"