Avaya Breeze™ Proven to be a Breeze for Developers at IAUG 2016

It may have been raining last week in Orlando, FL but that didn’t stop developers from creating hot applications powered by the Avaya Breeze™ Platform at this year’s International Avaya Users Group (IAUG). Avaya held its first Avaya Breeze Summit and Hackathon using Engagement Designer at the event and the results couldn’t be more exciting. Developers received about five hours of instruction, and then it was heads down to create Breeze applications in under 24 hours to compete for prizes for the most creative solutions. Industry analyst Zeus Kerravala was on hand to observe the hackathon along with the IAUG executive members. These folks witnessed developers with zero Avaya Breeze experience create applications in less than one day—because using Avaya Breeze is, well, a breeze!

The end result was a tie between two developers. Both winners were invited to speak at the Wednesday keynote where they shared their positive experiences developing cool applications with the IAUG audience.

One winner from Carlson Wagonlit Travel modified their website by adding a button which enables agents to connect with customers. The other winner joined us from The Standard and highlighted his ability to reduce five Avaya solutions to just two, creating applications with self-service, omnichannel communications. Both apps were excellent. Just imagine what they could do if they had more than a day to create applications! Their message was loud and clear: the IAUG members need to have their organizations explore the possibilities with Breeze.

Special thanks to those who generously provided prizes: Plantronics, Dave Pennell of Avaya Learning, and Valerie Heath, product manager for Avaya Collaboratory.

IAUG attendees left the conference with a more informed view of the value of Avaya Breeze for creating unique applications, having witnessed the creation of many demonstrations of unique Breeze applications. And the best part—these new apps have nothing to do with the Avaya deskphone you may associate with Avaya. These apps validate the direction of Avaya, delivering software and services in the market, a transformation of our proven reputation in our industry.

It’s not a coincidence that our Breeze developers took the stage before keynote celebrity speaker astronaut Mark Kelly of NASA. The developers proved there’s no need to be a rocket scientist to create Breeze applications!

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Digital Transformation—Powering New Experiences for Employees and Customers

There’s no let-up in the pace of change. New apps, new services and new ways of getting it done seem to spring up daily, and can seem at times, overwhelming. Thankfully, many of these new capabilities are actually making our lives easier, more fulfilling, and more productive. We’re on the cusp of a change that will go well beyond Googling an answer or picking up a voice call when you’re out and about. The analyst firm IDC calls the change Digital Transformation (DX) and defines it as “an approach that enables organizations to drive changes in their business models and ecosystems by leveraging digital competencies.”

Digital Transformation is Underway and Moving Fast

Digital Transformation promises to change the very fabric of our lives, as the Internet of Things, mobility, and big data make us more aware, more reachable, and more satisfied with our interactions, both personal and professional. The road to DX will be paved with innovations large and small. They will change the way we interact with other people and with the machines that move us, house us, feed us, and keep us healthy and engaged. But what about today? How can DX allow me to do a better job today?

IDC has done some interesting research on the notion of unified communications—that promised land of intuitive, rapid, well-organized, and multimodal interaction that we’ve been talking of for so long. They’ve determined that the market for UC solutions is growing (by 9% per year to about $38B globally by 2020) and that increasing productivity and collaboration and reducing expenses remain the key motivators for UC investments.

The Day-Changing Avaya Equinox™ Experience

These motivators are at the heart of the Avaya Equinox Experience. Equinox is built around a mobile-first reality—the notion that our smartphones and tablets have become our lifeline to … everything. How often do you look at your phone? Someone told me the average is 84 times a day. If you’re a boomer like me, it might not be that many times, but I’d guess I still look at my phone at least 40 times during my work day. Now what if each time I looked at my phone I was presented with my meeting schedule, my latest IMs, and my recent call logs? And what if that information was mirrored across my devices so that I could move seamlessly from my desk to my smartphone to my tablet to my laptop and always get the same consistent information, presented in the same intuitive way?

Sounds good, doesn’t it? And what if I could take the next step and actually take action on that information with a single tap? Enter my conference calls, open video and collaboration, return a call, or respond to a message? This ability to both understand my day’s priorities and take action on what’s most important is what defines the Avaya Equinox Experience. It’s the ability to have a UC experience that is, in fact, unified! It makes a major difference in my day and you can likely imagine how it could make a major difference in yours.

More DX Solutions from Avaya

Along with the Equinox Experience, Avaya also recently released two other innovations that we think define and support your move to DX. The Avaya Breeze™ Client SDK was used to create Equinox and Avaya now offers it to our developer ecosystem and our customers to create their own unique experiences. Would you like to integrate communications into an existing enterprise application? Does Equinox sound intriguing but you’re wondering if you could make a few tweaks for your specific vertical or enterprise needs? Add collaboration to a unique mobile app you’ve created? Or develop a kiosk experience that includes seamless communications access to additional resources? The Avaya Breeze Client SDK will give you the tools you need to bring the world of DX into your own organization—in the way that you think is best.

But what about placing those unique experiences into your environment? Your hotel rooms? Your patient rooms? Your retail spaces? Or your branch offices? Avaya Vantage is an all-glass device that is secure and admin-able and lets you take the customized experiences you created with the Breeze Client SDK and place them cost effectively into the locations that make sense for your business. You can provide unique offers, tailored experiences, create awareness of your services, and take your customer’s experience to the next level.

Interested in learning more? Check out the video clip of IDC Analyst, Rich Costello, and Avaya Director of Product Management, Paul Relf, as they discuss how digital transformation powers the new UC work experience. Read the IDC paper on DX and Avaya solutions. As always, we’re here to help you on your own DX journey! Send us a note, ask us a question, pose a problem to solve—we’d love to hear from you.

Verbio Brings Voice Biometrics to Avaya Breeze™

If you’ve been following the Avaya Connected Blog in recent weeks, hopefully you’ve read about the changes Avaya expects to see in Customer Engagement as we roll out the Avaya Oceana™ Solution, a contact center suite for the digital age.

And perhaps you’ve read how Avaya Oceana is built upon the flexible platform of Avaya Breeze™, which offers extensibility through a Snap-in architecture, creating new opportunities to extend and customize customer and team engagement interactions further.

I’ve previously highlighted how some of our DevConnect Technology Partners are leveraging the Avaya Breeze Platform to do just that, and I’m happy to add Verbio to the growing list of value-added Snap-in vendors.

I had the opportunity recently to speak with Piergiorgio Vittori, who heads up Americas Sales and Global Partnership opportunities for Verbio, as they recently completed DevConnect Compliance Testing of their Verbio Voice Authentication Snap-in for Avaya Breeze. Piergiorgio indicated that it took “about two months, end to end” to bring this voice biometric solution to market, “including design and requirements, programming, testing, demos, tuning, and documentation.”

I daresay that there aren’t many ways to bring out a flexible, biometric-based capability set in that short of a timeframe, which I offer up as a tremendous proof point for how Avaya Breeze really simplifies key aspects of application and communication services integration.

Verbio’s solution, which couples a Breeze-based Snap-in with their core SaaS-based biometrics capabilities, extends the speech search and ASR/TTS capabilities inherent with Avaya Breeze to a new level of speech capabilities, while maintaining a consistent and familiar type of request and error handling methods to be leveraged by other application developers. The Snap-in itself simplifies many of the tasks associated with passing data to the Verbio engine, acting as a sort of Verbio-proxy for application developers already working in an Avaya Breeze environment.

Voice Biometrics has a number of potential use cases, especially when it comes to automated events and actions. From a security perspective the use of voice biometrics can help ward off social engineering hacks, while its application in contact center domains can increase agent utilization and reduce overall call time by eliminating the need to verify a specific users’ identity through numerous Q&A interactions. In this latter case, a users’ voiceprint can very much act like their conclusive identification.

Enterprises and contact center (or even public safety concerns) can further leverage voice biometric analytical capabilities as an emotion detector to determine whether the validity of the users request is being influenced by stress or emotional status.

All of which makes a great proof point for the power of Avaya Breeze in helping to transform how our customers conduct business in this digital age.

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

All things good and bad must come to an end and so it is with both sadness and relief that I am closing out my series of Advanced Avaya Breeze™ videos.

Combined with my series of introductory videos, I’ve shown you how to create Avaya Snap-ins that process calls, emails, and SMS text messages. I’ve reached out to cloud services from Snap-ins and invoked Snap-ins from cloud services. I’ve created Snap-ins with decision logic, voice announcements, and JavaScript functions.

As a fitting end to my video tutorials, I will now show you how to debug your Snap-ins. It would be great if everything worked exactly as it should, but as we all know, Murphy has a way of stepping in and turning success into frustration and embarrassment. By using the many debugging tools that Breeze supports, Snap-in developers can catch and fix mistakes well before they manifest themselves in production.

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
Part 5: Debugging your 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.