For Esna, Avaya Aura CE saved them development time, allowed them to build a simpler app, and opened up huge new markets for them.
That harmonizes with independent communications analyst Sheila McGee-Smith’s assessment:
Avaya CEO’s Kevin Kennedy likens Avaya Aura CE to WebSphere from IBM and WebLogic from BEA (now Oracle). These Web application servers were absolutely crucial to accelerating the creation of e-commerce sites and jumpstarting the whole dot-com economy.
I personally see parallels between Avaya Aura CE and SAP’s Mobility Platform, a popular mobile middleware that enables developers to write apps faster and for multiple operating systems (i.e. iOS, Android, Windows) at the same time.
Esna wasn’t the only ISV I spoke with. I also had a chance to interview Jeff Thompson
, CEO of UserEvents Inc.
, a New Brunswick, Canada startup, about Avaya Aura CE.
UserEvents’ flagship application, called CxEngage,
enables organization to deliver consistent, exceptional customer experiences by monitoring customer journeys in real-time, across all touchpoints. Blending big data analytics with customer experience management, CxEngage gives organizations the ability to engage in the moment with a phone call, email or SMS. It’s a potent combination that Thompson wanted to bring to the Avaya Aura contact center user base, the largest in the market according to various analysts.
“I deliberately assigned a small team of developers that had no SIP or Avaya experience to integrate CxEngage with Avaya Aura,” he told me during an interview at IAUG’s Converge 2013 conference in Orlando this week.
Their lack of experience was not surprising. Most of UserEvents’ developers are Generation Y Millennials who didn’t grow up in an Avaya or Nortel era. Your classic Silicon Valley hoodie-wearing developer more comfortable developing applications in Clojure, a Java-based language designed for high performance applications like CxEngage, than the complexities of SIP.
Despite their lack of familiarity with the platform, “Avaya Aura Collaboration Environment allowed them to build a Proof of Concept in just 4 full programmer-days,” Thompson said.
Was that because UserEvents’ developers are really, really bright? Perhaps, though Thompson also credits the platform. “Collaboration Environment masks a lot of complexity by providing us an efficient interface that we can snap into so that we can enjoy the richness of what’s powered by the Aura stack,” he said.
Aura CE is also powerful. “It gave us access to a lot of rich communication capabilities while minimizing the number of developers and their time needed,” Thompson said.
I put the same question to Thompson and his team as I did to Esna’s Petralama
: what do you think about WebRTC?
Their answers were similar.
“We’ve started to look at WebRTC,” he said. “The challenge is that it’s relatively new.” As a result, most of CxEngage would-be clients, the large Fortune 500s, who are unlikely to abandon current communication and contact center applications overnight.
Thus, something like Avaya Aura CE “provides a brand that is well-known and trusted in the market, while delivering today on the capabilities that WebRTC will someday provide,” he said.