2016 DevConnect Award Winners Choose to Innovate on Avaya

Platform innovation allows companies to disrupt the status quo for their business, their industry. Amazon, Zappos, Google, Uber are just a few of the success stories that embrace platform innovation and launched massive disruptions. I add to that list Avaya. Why? Like these companies, we too identified a problem and created a platform that solves it. The problem that we identified is that in this mobile-centric, 24X7-access-to-everything, gadget-crazy digital world, there is a huge problem for companies to be able to communications enable any customer experience now, not seven months from now. The platform we created for business communications innovation is Avaya Breeze™. And unlike our competitors, we are embracing the fact that an open, scalable platform with an OpEX business model option that our partners and customers can access on their own—without us—is good for business and the industry. Breeze is a business and industry disrupter not only for Avaya but also for the customers and partners who are innovating on it and transforming their own businesses and industries.

Avaya Breeze is an open framework that brings the necessary attributes for communication in the digital age: embedded, mobile, fast, low risk, and workflow enabled—a key requirement to automate previously manual processes to improve digital experiences. It is the second most visited content topic on Avaya.com. The number of innovations developed on Breeze since its launch in March 2016 has been amazing, especially for an industry that has traditionally been focused on not empowering customers and partners to do things on their own. Customers and partners tell us they have developed hundreds of business communications applications and have hundreds more in development. One of the Avaya DevConnect partners said earlier this year that innovation on Breeze is a breeze. Many others agree. In fact, the DevConnect partners are consistently demonstrating the success of innovating on Avaya via the Breeze platform.

At Avaya, we believe that communications enabling almost anything is now possible through innovation on Breeze. Why not? If a company has a need or a use case, there is a solution and it can be readily available in days to weeks, just ask some of our DevConnect partners like Engelbart Software GmbH.

DevConnect’s 2016 Technology Partner of the Year, Engelbart demonstrated the best overall commitment to Avaya and their DevConnect partnership based on specific characteristics of excellence. The company developed leading-edge esuits2 ECI Server Snap-in for Breeze. This unique snap-in captures calling number information (CLID/ANI) and presents additional caller identification detail to called parties, enabling Avaya customers to enhance productivity and increase customer satisfaction. Engelbart has three solutions listed in the Avaya Snapp Store—Conferencing Whitelisting, esuites2 Enhanced Caller ID (ECI), and NG1-1-2/NG9-1-1 Location Extractor. The company has dozens more concepts under development.

Another example is Beta 80 Group, recently named DevConnect’s 2016 New Partner of the Year for demonstrating innovation and exemplary proactive partnering with Avaya. With a focus on delivering added value for Avaya 911 and second level public safety customers, Beta 80 Group’s innovative e911 (PSAP) solution integrates with Avaya Aura® to provide computer aided dispatch, radio integration, and reporting services for 911 organizations as well as emergency medical services, fire departments, and private medical services.

Three more examples are offered by DevConnect’s 2016 Innovation Award winners who were chosen for their ability to develop an innovative solution that addressed a unique solution in the market.

  • The eGain Knowledge Snap-in for Avaya Breeze from eGain Corporation guides callers to accurate answers online through self-service. Through the Snap-in, eGain enables Avaya customers to improve the overall experience and satisfaction of their own customers by making relevant information quickly available in a self-directed manner.

  • The Moxtra Snap-in for Avaya Breeze from Moxtra, provides rich, persistent chat and document sharing. This innovative Snap-in enables Avaya customers to create real-time continuity and collaboration between callers and contact center agents, increasing productivity and improving customer satisfaction. This Snap-in includes Moxtra’s Dynamic Task Type for Avaya Engagement Designer.

  • With ScoreData Corporation, Avaya customers can greatly benefit from the predictive behavioral analytics characteristics of the ScoreFast™ platform, which is capable of building complex statistical models to deliver custom solutions for specific business problems in near real-time.

On-demand applications such as those created by our award winners are about simplification, urgent need, and improved user experience. Innovating on Avaya is enabling these companies and many more to change their business for today’s digital experiences. Along the way if they also happen to disrupt the industries that they are doing business in, that is the power of innovating on Avaya.


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Avaya and IAUG: Coming Together for a Better User Group Experience

Marilyn ShuckMarilyn Shuck serves as a Director on the IAUG Board, president of the Puget Sound Avaya Users Group, and as a UC Engineer at the University of Washington.



The combination of the Avaya Technology Forum (ATF) and the International Avaya Users Group (IAUG) flagship event, Avaya ENGAGE, is generating a lot of buzz. As IAUG members, it’s exciting for us because we’ll be there as Avaya is announcing new products and have better access to Avaya. We’re also looking forward to bringing in more technical expertise, session choice, and potential new members to IAUG.

In the past, ATF was held in February or March, and Avaya ENGAGE was in June. By the time we assembled for Avaya ENGAGE, new product lines would have been out for several months. Now, we’ll get to hear the latest announcements. Since we’re partnering with Avaya, we’ll have much more access to them, getting our questions answered, getting trained, and seeing the new products in action.

We’re also able to offer so many more sessions, some with more technical expertise. ATF has historically been a technical conference, and our IAUG attendees will have a choice of breakout sessions that will add a new dimension to the education they’ll already be receiving.

It also makes sense to hold both of these events under one umbrella. There’s some overlap between ATF attendees and Avaya ENGAGE attendees, and in organizations where travel budgets are tight or where the same person is a technical support specialist and a user, you no longer have to choose which event to attend.

Additionally, we’re excited about the possibility of introducing new members to IAUG. Some ATF attendees may not have known about our existence, but now not only will they have the chance to learn more about us but they can network with us. We can continue to share learning opportunities and even bring a whole new quality of technical users to IAUG.

Make no mistake, the foundation of the event has not changed. This is still planned with the Avaya customer in mind. However, it signals our deepening relationship by aligning all customer events.

This is going to be one of those cases where what happens in Las Vegas won’t stay in Vegas. Avaya and IAUG are aligning, and it’s going to provide valuable education and opportunities for customers, IAUG members, partners, and Avaya. The benefits of attending will resonate throughout your organization, so plan to join us in February to learn, network, and return full of ways to make the most of your Avaya implementations. You can learn more at http://engage.iaug.org.


Advanced Techniques for Writing Avaya Breeze Snap-ins Using Engagement Designer—Part Four

Welcome to the fourth in my series of videos addressing some of the more advanced Avaya Breeze™ techniques. In Part One I showed you how to catch and process errors inside a Breeze Snap-in. In Part Two I addressed Breeze Connectors. In Part Three I added multimodal communications and parallel gateways. Here in Part four, I show you how to add JavaScript functions to Breeze expressions and data processing.

To start viewing my videos from the beginning watch the introductory series.

Continue with the advanced series:

Part 1: Error Processing and Boundary Events
Part 2: Breeze Connectors
Part 3: SMS Text, Email, and Parallel Gateways
Part 4: Adding JavaScript Functions to Snap-ins

Andrew Prokop is the Director of Vertical Industries at Arrow Systems Integration. Andrew is an active blogger and his widely-read blog, SIP Adventures, discusses every imaginable topic in the world of unified communications. Follow Andrew on Twitter at @ajprokop, and read his blog, SIP Adventures.

An Exploration of End-to-End Network Segmentation Part III: Automatic Elasticity

Imagine for a moment: you’re connected to a network via a piece of string. You perform your work, you wind down for the day and you disconnect from the network. When you leave the office, that piece of string stays behind, lying exactly where you last connected—exposed. Wouldn’t you know … the very next person to walk past your office after you leave is a hacker or a malicious employee (remember many attacks start from inside your network) who can now gain access to your open, vulnerable network via your left behind string (for techies, the static VLAN port configuration exposes that service). We all know what happens with the pull of just one thread … things unravel.

Now imagine this same scenario, but instead of your network core being connected by a string, it looks like a ball of rubber bands. When you connect to your network, a rubber band attaches to you, establishing your connection. Same as before, you disconnect when you finish your work day. The difference here is that your rubber band automatically recoils back to the network core (the rubber ball), where it safely rests until you or another user/device reconnects. If a hacker walks by where you’ve just been working, your node (or network connection) is no longer accessible. Similar to native stealth, this automatic elasticity means attackers can’t hack what they can’t connect to—therefore they can’t penetrate your network without the necessary level of authentication (certificates highly recommended).

This is the premise of automatic elasticity—the third core component of end-to-end segmentation (if you missed parts I and II of this series, be sure to catch up).

The Necessity of Elasticity

So, would you rather your network be a bundle of static, inflexible and unsecure strings that anyone can pull at? Or a dynamic, agile and secure elastic that extends to deliver services and retracts to prevent hackers from seeing and touching it?

Automatic elasticity enables businesses to stretch their network services (contained in hyper-segments) to the edge of the network, only as required and only for the duration of a specific application session. As applications terminate (or end-point devices close down or disconnect), those networking services retract from the edge. It’s as simple as that.

Stretching and retracting virtual services in this manner, however, becomes exceedingly difficult for companies operating in a static configuration environment. This is what ultimately led to Target’s massive data breach in 2013. A port had been statically configured to the company’s HVAC system—it did not retract—allowing a hacker to physically gain access to the entire network through that segment. From there, the hacker was able to conduct IP topology and trace IP routes to find the server they wanted and get the information they were after.

In this case, the mistake Target made was that it had no sophisticated methodologies in place to authenticate an end user or device before extending its HVAC port. It remained static, exposed and vulnerable to an attack, which eventually happened.

Without end-to-end segmentation, the only way businesses can truly extend their virtual services is to manually configure each node to simulate their desired level of elasticity. In this case, each node would have to be manually configured to stretch, and then that configuration would have to be removed as soon as the service was finished being used. Just imagine how time-consuming and painstaking this process would be on a large scale. This is illogical.

The bottom line is that automatic elasticity drastically reduces network exposure, and also transforms internal productivity and collaboration. A network access port is no longer statically mapped to a given service or user. Today it can be you, tomorrow a video surveillance camera, the next day a contractor. Agility, flexibility, security all delivered! With the ability to expedite provisioning and dynamically extend services to authenticated end-users or devices, an employee working across the country can quickly gain access to a system to complete a task. If you’re running late to a meeting, you can be authorized to temporarily gain access to a printer in-office to ensure you stay on schedule. The use cases for automatic elasticity are infinite and truly game-changing for businesses today.

In the End

While some still feel comfortable operating within legacy limitations, what’s important is that you now understand current industry standards have evolved to meet today’s next-generation network demands and security needs—something that end-to-end segmentation does flawlessly.

We’re excited to be able to help companies finally deploy end-to-end segmentation without resource-intensive or costly roadblocks. An end-to-end segmentation solution built on hyper-segmentation, native stealth and automatic elasticity is key. To succeed, you need all three of these complementary capabilities. All three share the common goal of maximizing network security. However, they contribute towards this goal in distinctly different yet necessary ways to substantially reduce your business risk exposure with the ever increasing cyber security threats we see and hear about globally.