Creating User-Defined Experiences—Why Avaya Oceana™ is a Big Deal

Don’t Miss the Webinar! Learn all about the Avaya Oceana™ Solution. Attend “Digitally Transforming the Customer Experience. Moving from What You Have to What Your Customers Expect.” You’ll hear from Karen Hardy, Senior Director Product Management Customer Engagement Solutions at Avaya, and Sheila McGee-Smith, noted customer engagement analyst.

If you’ve been following Avaya’s news over the past few months, you may recall that in March we talked about customer service being the new competitive battleground, and how Avaya is helping customers win the battle. Then in late May, we announced we were “raising the bar on the self-service customer experience.” Now, continuing the story line, we recently announced a number of new products that fit within the concept of “Experience is Everything.” What does “Experience is Everything” mean, you ask?

According to Gartner, it is expected that by the end of this year, 90% of companies will be competing on customer experience. That number was just 36% less than five years ago. It’s clear customer experience is driving every major business decision for most enterprises, and for good reason.

Customers are the lifeblood of any company, and we at Avaya have not only been helping businesses deliver on customer experience longer than anyone, but as the market leader, we have defined the market and continue to do so. Experience is critical for acquiring new customers, driving revenue, increasing customer lifetime value and retention rates. Creating an unmatched customer experience is more than just making sure you’re everywhere the customer wants you to be. What’s behind the curtain? How do you create a seamless experience that’s as enjoyable for your customer as it is easy for your internal teams to deliver? It takes experience creating true multi-touch solutions for enterprise clients across every industry. Experience in cloud delivery. Experience in mobile device integration. Experience in Software-Defined Networks. Experience in contact center deployment. When it comes to delivering unmatched customer experiences, Experience Is Everything.

Ten years ago, we did not have web chat, smart phone apps or social media. Today, digital interactions account for more than 35% of all interactions, and at the current rate, it will overtake voice in two years’ time (Dimension Data, 2015). Our vision is to help people and organizations move to not just a digital world, but a smart, digital world. Specifically, our vision of a smart, digital world is one where engagement across devices and software is always secure, always in context, and always user defined.

How can you create user defined experiences? Our latest announcements included a key solution: Avaya Oceana™. Before we talk about WHAT it is, let me give you a little background on the name, which will help put things into context. Avaya has been using an organic-organizing-principle for the names of our latest solutions. In March we announced Avaya Breeze™. Similar to Aura, Breeze is an atmospheric earth phenomenon. The name implies flexibility and ease when it comes to supporting application development. Just this month, we announced Oceana, which implies the fluidity of the experience businesses need to provide to customers today. Oceana, based on the word ocean, is synonymous with vastness and depth, much as our solution is a broad combination of communication experience capabilities that cover practically any business communication need, and the supporting analytics, context and user interfaces needed to enable a complete, consistent experience.

Avaya Oceana is Avaya’s next-generation customer engagement platform. It is based 100% on Breeze, enabling flexibility and speed for solution delivery. It comes out of the box with complete support for all the standard customer use cases, for example inbound calling, fraud detection, outbound notification like emergency alerts, and text/social media inbound/outbound engagement that you would expect from a next-generation multi-touch solution. Media support ranges from automated to live service, including chat and chat-bot, SMS, web/social media, mobile multimedia, co-browsing, chatting, video. Oh, and voice too, from mobile or fixed devices.

Oceana truly enables customers to integrate at the channel and data levels to deliver a unified multi-touch experience for both the customer and the business. With the open architecture and ability to integrate basically any app through API-led strategy, multi-vendor solutions come together seamlessly—both for customer interaction and data level—bringing in data from any source and normalizing, processing and presenting via Avaya’s interface or any third-party BI engine. Open? Yes! Flexible? Yes, that too. Oceana is based on workflows that can be highly customized. Delivering optimal customer experience is no longer about building routing rules, it’s about executing business strategies that leverage integrated intelligence to engage resources across the enterprise as needed. Because Oceana is a truly media-agnostic solution, it ensures future proofing, no matter where consumer technologies may take us next.

In a world where Experience is Everything, the ability to provide a user-defined experience will play an increasingly crucial role in beating the competition. How will you provide the experiences that will set you apart?

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At IAUG, the Experience was Everything

Avaya invited Brenda Emerson, President of IAUG, to share her thoughts about this year’s conference:

Brenda Emerson

Brenda Emerson is president of the International Avaya User Group and CIO, SVP at Landmark Bank. She is a technology and business visionary experienced in leveraging technology to deliver improved productivity and exceptional customer engagement. Avaya invited Brenda to share her thoughts about this year’s conference.


Avaya ENGAGE 2016 was, in a word, engaging.

It’s great to see the best and the brightest business communications professionals gather each year. As Henry Ford once said, “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” Our vibrant, intelligent community is growing and has a very bright future. New technologies and solutions that we learned about will enable us to do our jobs better than ever before. When Gary Barnett unveiled Avaya Oceana during the opening keynote, the excitement and energy in the room was tangible.

The curriculum was outstanding. The agenda had something for everyone: Technical sessions for the engineers and design staff; business sessions for the business manager and architects. In total, 170 breakouts were available, covering 13 different tracks.

I spent quite a bit of time wandering around the impressive solutions expo, chatting with the more than 100 exhibitors. The ingenuity coming from the business communications industry never ceases to amaze me. I’m excited about what’s possible and what’s next.

Something new this year was the Avaya Breeze™ Developer Summit and Hackathon. This 2.5-day summit started with a quick tutorial on the development platform, followed by 48 hours of designing and building a custom application. Before the event, none of the participants had any experience with Breeze. I was invited to judge the applications. It was amazing to see the power and simplicity of Breeze in action. If you’re interested in reading more about the winners, don’t miss Zeus Kerravala’s recent article “Building Apps with Avaya Proves a Breeze.”

It’s a privilege for me to be a part of IAUG. I know it makes a difference in people’s professional lives. This event is truly a labor of love and I am grateful to work with the team that makes IAUG and the annual summit so successful. It’s gratifying to reflect on the results and feedback we receive. I was particularly thrilled when I came across Srivinivasan Narayanan’s post in the mobile app: “LOVED IAUG. My first ever. Flew in all the way from India on a friend’s recommendation. The event exceeded my expectations. Definitely worth the time and money. Brilliant speakers, great audience and a networking opportunity you don’t wanna miss!”

So my hat’s off to the team. Thanks for all the hard work. Can’t wait to get started on next year’s event!

If you were not able to come this year, and want to get a taste of what you missed, be sure to watch the highlights video.

At the end of the day, experience is everything. It’s how we learn, how we best interact with each other and how we continually improve ourselves. Being a part of a community like IAUG provides these experiences like no other. If you’re looking for a place to grow and share your expertise, come join us at IAUG.