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

Welcome to the second 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.

Here in Part Two, I discuss Breeze Connectors and how they are used to extend the communications capabilities of Avaya Aura®. Specifically, I present the WebText SMS Text Connector.

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

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.

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Keep Up as our Avaya Equinox Team Member Races for Youth Mental Health

I’m still totally stoked about the energy and enthusiasm at Avaya Engage earlier this year. It was exciting to introduce the Avaya Equinox™ experience and our rich Avaya Breeze™ platform developer tools. We are truly enabling limitless possibilities for workplace automation, and completely transforming how we connect employees to their businesses.

While at Avaya Engage, I was particularly touched by an incredible story from an incredible Avayan, Kirk Jones. Many of you already know Kirk as the Avaya Equinox solution guru. Leading initial implementations, he shares his vast knowledge of deploying the full stack in customer and cloud environments. What I was not aware of is the energy and enthusiasm he is dedicating in his personal life to realize his dreams and benefit youth mental health. Kirk is preparing to participate in September’s 2017 Targa Newfoundland 1700 Km car rally at blistering speeds along closed city streets and municipal highways—while raising money and awareness for youth mental health.

When Kirk’s daughter was recovering from a skiing accident, he developed first-hand knowledge about the challenges faced by children and teens needing help. “The issue is there are not enough resources for parents with children dealing with mental health issues. Unless your situation is critical or life-threatening, it is difficult to get the support you need,” Kirk told me.

Kirk does not like to do things small, and this is no exception. He’s established an official charity for his cause and set the fundraising goal to $100,000! He is building a new race car from the ground up while seeking sponsors—not to pay for the car, but to contribute to his charity. The racing community has already started to come together during the build process, with big name sponsors like Volkswagen stepping up and supporting Kirk’s mission.

I was blown away by Kirk’s extreme dedication to the success of Avaya Equinox, and now he’s applying the same level of commitment and dedication to his racing benefit for youth mental health. For Kirk, even if he helps only one child, it will all be worth it. It seemed to me that for him no goal is too high, no challenge too hard. How could I help? As I told this story to other Avayans, the ideas kept flowing. We have such cool technology at Avaya and have shown we can completely change the fan experience in Sports and Entertainment—so why not make Kirk’s racing journey more accessible and engaging for those who watch and donate?

We will enhance the donor experience by combining the Internet of Things (IoT) and Avaya Breeze workflow automation with Zang™ Cloud, our robust communication platform-as-a-service. We’ll create a workflow to give contributors real-time updates while Kirk races. It will be easy and amazing, and it is all possible using simple Avaya workflows.

In upcoming blogs, as we lead up to the Targa Newfoundland car rally, I will be posting updates on this incredible story and sharing more about how we’re implementing the IoT workflow project. But the real story is about helping children and teens in need—I’ll keep you posted on progress there as well.

This story makes me proud to be an Avayan. We have so many great people, doing great things to make the world a better place. Learn more about Kirk’s journey on his website, and be sure to Like the Facebook page. You can even make a donation to the Race for Mental Health Fund. Until next time, it would be great to hear from you. Follow me @Paul_Relf, and follow this story on social #RealAvayaStories

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.