Avaya Contact Center Update Has Social Networking Flavor

It's all about stronger contact resolution and better customer satisfaction, according to Avaya, and that means a slate of new products in its Contact Center Suite, which Avaya announced this week.

Among the updates are Avaya Aura Contact Center 6.2, whose latest update can directly integrate social media updates from platforms like Twitter and Facebook via Avaya's new Social Media Manager. It can allow contact center agents to locate topic-specific experts based on presence information, lessening the time required to connect customers with experts that can answer their questions.

In addition, said Avaya, the 6.2 release can support up to 90,000 agents in a single virtual network thanks to how it integrates with Avaya's Aura Communication Manager.

Also new is the Avaya Aura Experience Portal, an optimized version of Avaya's automated services platform that offers seamless hand-off of customers and the ability of the portal to be deployed in a virtualized environment. Avaya's Avaya Orchestration Designer is another new addition, offering app development tools to contact center developers looking to address hand-offs from automated to agent-assisted interaction with customers.

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Mike Taylor, chief technology officer at Strategic Products and Services, a Parsippany, N.J.-based Avaya partner, said the integration of Contact Center 6.2 with Avaya Aura Call Center Eite -- Avaya's automatic call distribution application -- was one way VARs could drive more contact center capabilities with clients.

"This preserves our investments, even as we evolve our customer service capabilities," Taylor said in a statement.

Joan Vandermate, Avaya's director of product marketing for channels, said Avaya channel partners are focusing more on contact center solutions than ever before.

"We've seen a 376 percent increase in the number of contact center certified partners in the past year with over 3,300 partner sales people completing Avaya contact center sales certification training in the past 12 months," Vandermate told CRN.

Partners want to make the contact center experience as flexible and customizable as possible for customers, Vandermate said, because contact centers themselves have to be flexible to handle a range of customer feedback.

"Whether its the integration of social media into the contact center, the addition of e-mail, Web chat, text and other media channels to customer care, or the enhancements we’ve made to contact center self service, Avaya business partners can continue to add value to their customers’ businesses," Vandermate said.