Driving Down Costs for Governments and Commercial Organizations

By Guy Clinch

Now Playing: Avaya TechTalk 008: Driving Down Costs for Governments and Commercial Organizations

Avaya Tech Talk host Guy Clinch discusses tools and techniques of how governments and other organizations can drive down costs associate with workers who use mobile devices in their jobs and take risks out of bring your own device (BYOD).

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Transcript:

Guy:
Thumbnail image for userpic-12-100x100.png

Good day, all! Guy Clinch here, advocate for the government customer in Avaya’s product development organization. Welcome to this week’s episode of Avaya Tech Talk. Tech Talk is designed to highlight the robust and growing community of technology partners and the unique solutions that they participate with Avaya to provide the government customers across the globe.

Today I take a break from the usual format of this podcast to have a conversation about a powerful way that governments and other organizations can drive down costs for workers who use mobile devices in their jobs. It’s a tool I use almost every day. This is a story of how, Avaya one-X® Mobile applied in a strategic way by governments and commercial organizations is used to drive down costs and produce significant new organizational efficiencies.

Avaya one-X Mobile is an application suite that can be downloaded from sources including the iTunes Store and Google Play. It runs on popular platforms including Apple iPhone, Google Android, RIM BlackBerry and Nokia/Symbian. The app allows the user to log in to their office unified communications server and use the mobile device as a “clone of” or replacement for an office desk phone.

Most of the features that would be available to the user if they were sitting in an office with a traditional multifunction desk phone can be used through the Avaya one-X Mobile’s easy to use interface. Think please of the efficiencies to be gained by an individual when they have the power of the applications available from a multifunction desk phone in the palm of the hand. Yet, that’s just the beginning of the story of how organizations can save costs and drive new organizational efficiencies from the “one experience” of Avaya one-X model of doing business.

Hard dollar saving are achieved when Avaya one-X Mobile is used in conjunction with features of the user’s mobile plan. The key is the ingenious way that Avaya one-X Mobile interacts with the unified communications system. This is an example of true convergence when the power of Internet technologies and heritage communications technologies are combined. It is also a powerful example of how previous investments can be leveraged and combined with new technologies creating a self-funding model supporting marginal investments by saving recurring costs, driving new efficienciesand extending the lives of previous purchases. Meanwhile organizations have the potential to revolutionize the way that the organization employs enterprise style communications to conduct business. The results are freed up budgets and increased levels of client and customer satisfaction.

As is often true with new technologies, IP has not replaced heritage telephony as many of the original advocates of technologies including Voice over IP (VoIP) had advocated. Instead, IP has merged with heritage telephony to create powerful new communications paradigms. Avaya one-X Mobile is but one example of how.

The secret is that Avaya one-X Mobile allows the user to log into the unified communications server over the mobile device’s data connection. This means that the organization may apply enterprise style communication techniques to the mobile device. For the user, Avaya one-X Mobile’s intuitive user interface allows them to execute commands to the communications server by swipes and clicks. This unlocks access to business tools for the mobile user that once was reserved for cubical row. How this happens in ingenious.

Take an outgoing call from a mobile worker to a client executed through the one-X Mobile interface. When a voice call is initiated using one-X Mobile, several things happen. First the communications server places a call to the user’s mobile device. The user has simply swipes and clicks and waits momentarily. Then they answer an incoming call. Step two automatically occurs.

The communications server executes a second voice connection to the telephone number that the user had manually input or selected from one of the several directory features available through the one-X Mobile visual interface. Step three happens in an instant.

Next, the unified communications server automatically bridges the two voice connections together. The process has been that the user executed a simple intuitive action through their most familiar tool. The Avaya one-X Mobile app automatically performed steps two and three and the user and the person they wished to connect with are conversing. Simple; swipe, click, connect.

Some might say, “That’s great, but it seems inefficient for one phone call to take up two voice connections. Why not just dial the number? Isn’t it wasteful to engage two voice connections rather than a single call from the user’s mobile device?”

That’s a very valid question. Allow me to explain that there are a number of reasons, from a government or other enterprise organization’s perspective, for why this model is more efficient.

First there are hard dollar savings. If the person who is being called is not part of the caller’s inner circle in their mobile plan – their so called “friend and acquaintances” circle – the call incurs wireless charges. You may say that’s no big deal, “Most users are on plans that give them a certain allocation of minutes at no additional charge.”

This is very true, but for a government or commercial organization there is a cost to those plans. The more people who use their mobile devices to do business the more minutes are needed. The more minutes are needed, the higher the costs. Overage charges can be hard to predict and even more costly when incurred. What I will explain is a way to achieve dramatic savings of those costs and put controls on those costs. I’ll also discuss benefits to organizational issues including regulatory compliance and increasing the ability to serve clients and customers. The key to saving those costs and creating those operational improvements is, in part, the unique ways Avaya one-X Mobile allows the organization to incorporate the user’s mobile device into the enterprise’s communications management strategies.

Part of the key is that properly configured unified communications systems are predictable about what number will be used to communicate between the server and the user’s mobile device. Most wireless plans provide for the user to designate some quantity of telephone numbers that when dialed, the minutes incurred in those calls do not count against the user’s – or the organization’s – allocated amount. When the number that the unified communications server uses to communicate with the user’s device is part of the user’s inner circle of their wireless plan, calls between the organization’s unified communications server and the user’s mobile device are essentially free. It doesn’t matter how many calls or how many minutes are used in a time period. They all free to the wireless plan.

The call to the external party does count against the allocation of call volumes for the unified communications server, but these rates are typically significantly less for the organization than the costs associated with wireless plans.

That hard dollar savings are just the beginning. Avaya one-X Mobile allows the user to access many other resources in the government’s communications infrastructure in effective ways. For instance, the user may see into their voicemail account on the organization’s messaging server. Using this visual voicemail the user may pick and choose which message to listen to and when. In addition to this personal productivity enhancement, when they play a message, the user has a choice between listening to the audio over the device’s data connection or to have the audio played over a voice connection. When a voice connection is chosen and the predictable telephone number used by the unified communications server to connect with the mobile user’s device is in the mobile user’s inner circle list, these calls also do not decrement the user’s or organization’s available total of minutes.

When viewed in the context of a single user, these savings can be significant. Multiply these savings by the thousands of mobile users of a government or commercial organization and you are talking some real money. These examples are only the beginning of the benefits generated from this technology and the methodology of applying it in governments and commercial organizations. Accountability and regulatory compliance is but another area of benefit.

For instance, in the alternative model where each mobile user receives voice communications and voicemail messages in a personal account, the organization has little or no way to access, audit and monitor the regulatory compliance those communications. In the Avaya one-X Mobile model, the communications flow though the enterprise. The enterprise messaging system owned by the government or commercial organization stores messages. There is also more benefit to the user and the organization.

Another benefit is that in the Avaya one-X Mobile environment individual users gain increased privacy and the organization gains increased professionalism. That is because the user need not divulge the telephone number associated with their mobile device. Instead organizational policy should dictate that the mobile user should only advertise their office number for business purposes. Organizations who establish these policies that the only the business number should be provide for all business communications become able to capture and where required, audit and even monitor those communications. The wild world of mobility becomes tamed. BYOD, or bring you own device becomes less threatening. The organization and the mobile user benefit.

To the mobile user the benefit is that they are provided “availability with anonymity.” They can keep their mobile number private, while being ubiquitously available for business purposes. Professionalism is increased because no client ever needs to end up in phone mail jail on a business user’s mobile plan’s messaging system. Call coverage options and escape at the beep options can be employed. The power of the organization can be unleashed in service to the client or customer.

The Avaya one-X way of doing business gives clients and business associates one number to reach the mobile user for business purposes. The mobile user benefits because, especially in a BYOD environment, they never need to divulge the number of their personal mobile device to business associates and clients. The client benefits in the more professional treatment of their privileged communications. The organization benefits in many other ways.

“Wrangling the cats” of mobility and BYOD using the Avaya one-X way of doing business means that communications between the mobile user and their business relations are captured and auditable. If regulatory requirements dictate, these communications can be recorded with the communications being captured at the unified communications server. In the alternative independent mobile user environment, this is far harder or impossible. There are more hard-dollar savings for the government and commercial organizations employing the Avaya one-X approach.

A substantial amount of expense for an organization comes from employees communicating with one another. In the Avaya one-X Mobile model, these calls become extension-to-extension calls. An employee seeking to call another employee calls the business number, most typically within an organization this is an abbreviated code such as a four or five digit extension. The unified communications server then makes the connection to the mobile number. Again if this predictable number is part of the mobile user’s inner circle, these mobile minutes are free. So instead of an organization chewing up mobile minutes for thousands of wireless plans to accommodate employees talking with one another, except for the free-of-charge wireless leg, these become “internal” calls and significant hard dollar savings are achieved.

There are many additional benefits and costs savings that I could discuss here. Respecting your valuable time I try to keep these conversations short. Today I am over my target of four minutes per episode. I’ll just say that other things we may discuss in future editions are more hard savings and organizational efficiencies of the enterprise wide one-X approach to communications.

We may talk about how this approach may allow mobile users to be integrated into the organization’s contact centers strategies making them extended resources for solving client’s problems and providing customer service. There’s an extend conversation we may have about how the features of the Avaya one-X – one experience – model of enterprise communications drives other hard and soft dollar costs savings. This conversation includes the many ways the a single user experience for business communications provides users with a consistent set of tools whether at their desk, in a remote office, in the field with clients or in a work situation anywhere on the planet. In any work circumstance the concepts of Avaya one-X provides business efficiencies to the user and to the organization. This just gives us more fodder for future editions of Avaya Tech Talk.

We’ve been talking today about a powerful tool that governments and other organizations can use to drive down costs for workers who use mobile devices in their jobs; Avaya one-X Mobile. Thanks for joining me here today on Avaya Tech Talk. You can subscribe to our episodes on iTunes and follow us on Twitter hashtag #APNpodcast. Talking tech, this has been your host, Guy Clinch, the advocate for the government customer at Avaya.

Dear Listeners,

I’ll be honored if you chose to follow me on Twitter @gclinch check out my professional profile on LinkedIn and subscribe to my podcasts: http://AvayaTechTalk.com.

Warmest regards,
Guy W. Clinch

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Coming Soon @IAUG #Converge2013: @Avaya Contact Center Portfolio Strategy and Roadmap

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Avaya Tech Talk 015: with Linda Dotts and Laura Bassett about the Avaya Contact Center Portfolio Strategy and Roadmap at IAUG CONVERGE2013

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Synopsis:

In this episode of my Avaya Tech Talk podcast I continue a series of conversations about IAUG CONVERGE2013 that is taking place at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Orlando June 3-7, 2013. In this final episode in a series of conversation prior to the start of the conference I interview Linda Dotts, Avaya’s Vice President of Contact Center Product Management and Laura Bassett, Director of Marketing, Customer Experience and Emerging Technologies about the session Avaya Contact Center Portfolio Strategy and Roadmap, they will jointly host during the conference in Orlando June 3-7, 2013.

Linda Dotts Laura Bassett.jpg

During the Avaya Contact Center Portfolio Strategy and Roadmapsession participants will learn about Avaya’s software portfolio strategy for 2013 and beyond. This session will provide a detailed roadmap of key Avaya solutions and applications for Contact Centers and Customer Experience Management.

Later in the week Laura will present the session, Evolution to Next Generation Customer Experience Management . Participants in this session will hear more about Avaya’s vision and strategy for next generation customer experience and the contact center evolution scenarios that follow. Attendees will learn some of the key steps and options possible through the latest innovations and solutions enabled by the Avaya Customer Experience Framework.

Both Linda and Laura will be available throughout IAUG CONVERGE2013 participating in sessions and event and meeting with IAUG members, Avaya Customers, vendor partners, industry analysts and the press.

Join the conversation with your comments below!

Please note that during the IAUG CONVERGE2013, fellow APN Podcast host Mark Fletcher and I will be producing live interviews and content originating from Orlando. Please join us for a large amount of new content, industry insights and special announcements.

Thanks for listening to Avaya Tech Talk. You can subscribe to our episodes on iTunes, Player.fm and follow us on Twitter hashtag #APNpodcast.

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#Converge2013: @IAUG Member Advocacy, Got Issues Get Action!

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Avaya Tech Talk 014: with Bill Moore a member of the Board of Directors of the International Avaya User Group (IAUG)

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Synopsis:

In this episode of my Avaya Tech Talk podcast I continue a series of conversations about IAUG CONVERGE2013 that is taking place at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Orlando June 3-7, 2013. In this latest installment of the series I interview Bill Moore, Technical Infrastructure Manager at The Museum of Modern Art and a member of the Board of Directors of the International Avaya User Group (IAUG) about the IAUG Member Advocacy program and how it interacts with activities that take place during the conference in Orlando June 3-7, 2013.

Bill Moore

IAUG’s Member Advocacy programs go on 365 days per year. The programs make it as easy as possible for IAUG members to reach out for help when they need it. They have a number of options. The most direct method involves entering information about their issue directly into a form on the IAUG website, www.iaug.org. As soon as an issue is entered the issues are assigned it to a member of the Advocacy Committee for action. We will contact the appropriate resource at Avaya, or an Avaya business partner, to achieve resolution of the issue.

During IAUG CONVERGE2013 a number of session are scheduled that will feed member support requests, product enhancement suggestions and other parts of the process and product improvement dynamic that goes on throughput the year. My blog, The Power of the Customer/Supplier Dialectic describes this dynamic in which both the customers and Avaya benefit from the vigorous interactions of the IAUG Member Advocacy programs.

Session at IAUG CONVERGE2013 during which member issues will be collected include Advocacy: Sales, Services & Billing – International/Multi-National (Avaya Services & Maintenance) and The Future Needs Session is being held Thu, Jun 06, 2013 from 02:00 – 03:00 ET. The session allows participants to provide direct feedback to Avaya product managers and executives on what they want the future of Avaya’s contact center product portfolio to be.

Transcript:

[Guy]:
Good day all! This is your APN Podcast host Guy Clinch. This edition of Avaya Tech Talk continues the recent series of conversations in my role as Avaya Champion to the International Avaya Users Group – Contact Center Contact Center Council.

May I introduce you today to Bill Moore a member of the Board of Directors of the IAUG? Among the many ways Bill serves the organization is Bill’s role as chairman of the IAUG Member Advocacy Council. We’ll be discussing the IAUG Member Advocacy processes and other attributes of IAUG’s support for the organizations’ members.

Bill, welcome to Avaya Tech Talk.

[Bill]
Hi Guy, thanks for inviting me to join you today.

[Guy]
Bill, I’ve had the privilege of knowing you for a number of years through our mutual involvement in IAUG. Congratulations on your recent appointment to the Board of Directors. It is well-deserved recognition of how long and hard you have worked in support of IAUG and its member. What are some of the IAUG responsibilities that you care for?

[Bill]
Most of my duties at IAUG focus on serving our members. I chair the Cabinet of Council Chairs, a group made up of the leaders of IAUG member councils. Each of the councils specializes in a group of Avaya products or services. I also chair the Advocacy Council. This is a larger group that includes members of the C3, a few very experienced members of IAUG, and representatives from Avaya.

[Guy]
You’ve been caring for member advocacy for as long as I have known you. You’ve been a great driver in formalizing the processes. Please explain how the member advocacy processes work today in IAUG?

[Bill]
We’ve tried to make it as easy as possible for our members to reach out to us for help when they need it. They have a number of options. The most direct method involves entering information about their issue directly into a form on our website, www.iaug.org. As soon as an issue is entered, I receive a notification and assign it to a member of the Advocacy Committee for action. We will contact the appropriate resource at Avaya, or an Avaya business partner, to achieve resolution of the issue.

Other methods of engaging our help could be contacting one of the council chairs directly, or attending one of the Sales, Services, and Billing sessions at our annual conference. We respond to member issues brought to us in any manner.

[Guy]
Mark Burns of the IAUG member company Medimedia and Bill Jolicoeur of Avaya are hosting the Contact Center Future Needs session during IAUG CONVERGE2013. As part of this session they will collect member issues. Also at the conference there are Sales, Services, & Billing sessions at which member issues are collected. How will this information feed into the processes of the ways in which member’s issues are handled throughout the year?

[Bill]
Although we normally will receive about 50 member issues during the Sales, Services, & Billing sessions at the conference, our Advocacy program is engaged all year. We’ve made it easy for members to submit issues through the Issue Tracker on the homepage of www.iaug.org

[Guy]
What kinds of results do the IAUG member advocacy processes generate?

[Bill]
We track and follow every member issue until a satisfactory resolution is reached. About 1/2 of the issues brought to us are resolved within the first month. More complicated issues that may involve process or policy changes can take much longer. Status of all issues is posted on the IAUG website. We don’t close an issue until we’ve checked with our member to be certain the resolution was acceptable.

[Guy]
The member issues processes were trialed and launched in the United States. As IAUG serves a global community, I understand that member issues processes have recently been expanded. Please tell us about that.

[Bill]
For the first time last year, we held a special Sales, Services & Billing session for members from outside North America as well as those members who represent multinational enterprises. We recognize that our international members have a unique set of issues when dealing with Avaya and Avaya Business Partners. We’re committed to providing them the same level of service that we do for our North American members.

[Guy]
The focus of the member’s issues processes has been primarily related to IAUG’s relationships with Avaya. As the IAUG organization has grown to include a robust ecosystem of members of the Avaya global partner community, how does IAUG address issues that result from interactions with vendors other than Avaya?

[Bill]
An example is that this year we will be taking advantage of the overlap between CONVERGE2013 and the Partner Community Council (PCC) Conference by holding a preliminary discussion around how we can better represent IAUG members when they have issues with Business Partners. Our goal is to open a dialogue with the BP service leads in order to develop relationships that will allow us to find quick resolution to member issues.

[Guy]
What other programs fall under member advocacy at IAUG?

[Bill]
One of my favorite programs every year is the IAUG Service Excellence Award. We present it during our conference every year to an employee from Avaya or an Avaya business partner who has demonstrated an outstanding level of customer service to one of our members. We take nominations from members throughout the year, selecting the winner shortly before conference. The name of the actual winner is a closely guarded secret until the award is presented during the conference. It’s really one of the highlights of the conference every year. And…it’s a great way for us to say “thank you” to the people who make our jobs easier.

[Guy]
We’re almost done. Bill one last question, what would you say to someone who has not yet made up their mind to come to Orlando June 3-7, and attend IAUG CONVERGE2013?

[Bill]
I’ve attended a lot of conferences in my career. I can honestly say that IAUG offers a unique experience. We have some of the best training sessions you’ll find anywhere within our educational program. But more than that, you’ll have the opportunity to network with your peers from all around the world. You’ll meet people who are experts in every area of communications. Having the ability to call them and ask questions is an invaluable resource. It’s worth many times the cost of the conference.

[Guy]:
We’ve been speaking today Bill Moore a member of the IAUG Board of Directors chairman of the IAUG Member Advocacy committee about the processes in place supporting IAUG’s member issues. The issues resolution processes will kick into high gear during the upcoming IAUG CONVERGE2013 that is being held in Orlando June 3-7.

+++++++

Join the conversation with your comments below!

Please note that during the IAUG CONVERGE2013, fellow APN Podcast host Mark Fletcher and I will be producing live interviews and content originating from Orlando. Please join us for a large amount of new content, industry insights and special announcements.

Thanks for listening to Avaya Tech Talk. You can subscribe to our episodes on iTunes, Player.fm and follow us on Twitter hashtag #APNpodcast.

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Coming Soon @IAUG #Converge2013: Avaya Automated Experience Management

Avaya Tech Talk 012: A Conversation with Tore Christensen

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Tore Christensen

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Synopsis:

In this episode of my Avaya Tech Talk podcast I continue a series of conversations about IAUG CONVERGE2013 that is taking place at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Orlando June 3-7, 2013. I interview Tore Christensen Corporate Consulting Engineer at Avaya specializing in Speech and Self Service who is hosting a number of the sessions during the upcoming IAUG CONVERGE2013 that is taking place at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Orlando June 3-7, 2013.

Tore is an expert in helping enterprise organizations to deliver world-class customer service and business results by employing self-service and contact center tools. During the weeklong IAUG event Tore will give attendees presentations, training and hands on help. He will show how to improve the ways customers use the Avaya Aura® Experience Portal to provide differentiated wait treatment, how to increase Application Effectiveness Reporting, how to integrate with SIP, Computer Telephony Integration, Avaya Aura® Contact Center and how to support outbound applications with Avaya Proactive Outreach Manager.

Included in the agenda will be a session tailored to the needs of former Nortel Enterprise Systems customers teaching them about Avaya’s the consolidation of the joint product line and Avaya’s set of evolution options and roadmaps for legacy “blue” IVR customers. This session will discuss the roadmap for the Avaya Media Processing Server (MPS) product line and continued support of MPS customers. Attendees will discover the technical and commercial migration path for MPS customers to evolve their solution to a standards-based Avaya Aura® Experience Portal solution.

Listeners of this podcast and attendees to Tore’s sessions at IAUG CONVERGE2013 will come away with a set of actionable tools, insights and advice from leaders in the movement to use technology to gain the benefits of telework for organizations and our society.

Join the conversation with your comments below!

Please note that during the IAUG CONVERGE2013, fellow APN Podcast host Mark Fletcher and I will be producing live interviews and content originating from Orlando. Please join us for a large amount of new content, industry insights and special announcements.

Thanks for listening to Avaya Tech Talk. You can subscribe to our episodes on iTunes, Player.fm and follow us on Twitter hashtag #APNpodcast.

Google

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APN is Powered by Cachefly
CacheFly is the world’s fastest CDN, delivering rich-media content up to 10x faster than traditional delivery methods. With a proven track record and over a decade’s worth of CDN experience, companies around the world choose the CacheFly CDN for reliable and unbeatable performance. For more information, visit www.cachefly.com