Avaya Roadmap at Avaya ENGAGE
Yogen Patel, Avaya product management lead, says the roadmap has three focus areas: automation and artificial intelligence; open, modular and cloud first; and adoptable innovation. Greg Graham, Vice President of Infrastructure at PSCU joined Yogen in a talk about PSCU’s digital transformation journey and what steps lay ahead.
>> Over the next months and quarters. So to recap, contact center, unified communications, conferencing devices, artificial intelligence, it is here for you. Now, let's take a bit of a longer view and talk about the rest of the year, what is it that we are going to drive? How do we accelerate the portfolio?
How do we continue to innovate? What is the framework in which we are going to bring new capabilities? And I would like to invite Yogen Patel, Jurgen runs our project management team. Yogen and his team are listening to your partners and customers day in and day out, understanding what do we need to do next.
And Yogen, thanks for being here. So we'll go through what's next.
>> Okay, sounds good. So thank you, Loran, thank you, Karen, for covering all the fantastic capabilities, product solutions we're delivering today. So as you look to transform, how you connect, communicate, engage within your organization, and across your customer base, Avaya has the full suite of capabilities, communications platforms, conferencing applications, team engagement applications, collaboration applications, contact center solutions.
Developer tools and frameworks that will allow you to deliver superior user experiences, and run excellent business operations. We continue to advance our roadmap as a best suite portfolio, including all those capabilities I mentioned before. But the key thing is it is an open solution that allow it to co-exist with specific third party products point solutions you may have that fulfill specific needs.
Our roadmap has really three main focus areas. I'm gonna quickly introduce what each of these themes is, and I'll spend a few minutes later on diving a little bit deeper and giving examples of what we're doing in each of those three themes. So the first theme that's driving a roadmap is this whole area of automation and intelligence.
We're evolving our solutions to simplify deployment, configuration, updates, operations, we're wrapping automation tools as scripts around the portfolio for both prime and on Cloud, both private, public and as a service Cloud infrastructures. We're also focusing within this theme on modernizing customer engagement using automation to drive loyalty, revenue, customer satisfaction, efficiency.
And as heard over yesterday and today, we're infusing artificial intelligence through the entire portfolio. And this is gonna enable enhancing customer experiences and optimizing business performance. So that's the first theme, and I'll go a little bit deeper into some examples later on. The second theme is all around accelerating open, modular cloud-first architectures, and we've made huge strides already, as you heard yesterday and hopefully you've seen through the sessions yesterday and today.
But we can do a lot more. We're gonna create microservices based applications and functions, distributed deployment flexibility. We're gonna have standards-based connectivity, we'll build application services in Cloud platforms. All of these is gonna enable unparalleled elasticity, efficiency, scale and seamless integration. So that's the theme of open cloud-first architectures.
The final theme that's driving our roadmap is this whole area of adoptable innovation. So this is where we wanna make it easier for you to adopt innovation alongside versus instead of. This will help you to create bridges from today to tomorrow. This will allow you to benefit from some of our new capabilities without having it to forklift replacement.
While you can better leverage your investments in involving a stepwise manner choosing what you update for us and what you do later on. In same cases you may choose to stay with certain capabilities for a long time. So these are the three themes that are driving our roadmap and I'll dive now one step deeper into each of these areas.
So let me start with automation first. What we have in the automation area, to begin with, is creation of automation management for our entire portfolio of products. Aura, Equinox, Oceana and more. This will enable creating an instance for the first time in support of full lifecycle administration, so you may wanna update to a specific release, so you may wanna update it to the latest release.
In support orchestrating changes, you may wanna make a change to the application based on utilization user account or maybe the certain features sets you wanna turn on and turn off. So all of that will be automated much more seamlessly in this infrastructure. The fabric we'll use to enable this automation is going to leverage a wide range of technologies, some of these may be familiar to you already.
Things like puppet, chef, and more. We'll use dynamic script generators, templates, APIs, to enable supporting this automation for a wide range of environments. VMWare on-prem, AWS, and all kinds of hyperconverged data center infrastructures. Moving to artificial intelligence, there are a number of areas we're extending our applications, specifically in the contact center area to begin with.
So the applications would be enhancing experienced portable, Oceana, Elite and infusing AI to better deliver customer experiences. I'll give you some examples of kinds of capabilities we're developing. So let me start with effortless self-service. Karen mentioned AVA and the evolution of that technology, we're gonna take it even further.
We will have conversational interfaces, bought based interaction, unparalleled accuracy using cognitive recognition engines, natural language processing and more. Another area that we expect tp spend a lot of time in Artificial Intelligence in Connex Center is smart routing. This is where we'll better match agents and users based on history, behavior, attributes, preferences.
We'll use statistical scoring algorithms to the best pair matching between an incoming interaction and end user to better achieve the business outcomes that you're looking to achieve. Real time agent augmentation is another area. And you saw, in fact, a demo of that yesterday with intelligent wire. We will be able to parse and interpret on demand, in flight interaction.
We'll be able to extract, what is the intent, what's the ask, what's the sentiment? And we'll utilize that to guide agent treatments and agent actions to an incoming interaction. We'll use advanced pattern matching mechanisms and search to guide agents into the best treatment suggestions and the best path to follow, and again, to achieve a business outcome that you're looking to achieve.
I'll now move to the second theme, which is all around open, modular, cloud architectures. We're investing in application containerization. We're using tools like Docker, which is essentially taking an application, and all the things that it depends upon, the libraries, the dependencies, putting it in a single package. Now, why is this useful and why is it important?
It simplifies employment. It simplifies standardization. You have efficiencies. Most importantly, once you containerize you're able to deploy that application onto multiple Cloud platforms. So that's a significant evolution of our stock. APIs is gonna be a focus going forward. It's always has been and we're gonna extend that even further.
We're investing in a client SDK approach across our entire portfolio including our Android based endpoints such as Vintage. What we're doing is pioneering an open architecture full system vision that covers communication platforms. Customer engagement applications, team engagement applications, soft clients, user interfaces, hard clients, endpoints. We're delivering a seamless experience across all of the infrastructure tools we have.
But the most important thing is, it's still extensible. It's a seamless experience yet open, based on the ability for you to customized using our SDKs, or APIs, or workflows, and integration into the externally ecosystem. It's really a powerful and unique vision, will you bring all that capability to your printing graded, yet give you the tools to extend and plugin, and enhance, and evolve issues, give necessary, using our developer tools and frameworks.
Finally, the last area, and the last theme of our evolution, is all around adaptable innovation. And Karen touched on this earlier, as well. Where we'll be innovating in our portfolio in layers and components. And here, again, the goal is to enable you to absorb that innovation at your pace.
And a great example of that is the one that Karen mentioned earlier. So here's where we'll develop and bring to you a full HTML file, jQuery, widgetized desktop for Elite AAC and AIC. We have that for Oceana today, but we're investing in making that layer of innovation available on top of the existing infrastructure.
We're building end point adapters, where some of you who'll be evolving from Legacy to Ora, can continue to utilize your IP phones, your digital phones, your set phones, I mean your IP digital and analog phones. On top of the Ora infrastructure, so that investment that you have in that physical infrastructure and you realize going forward.
We're augmenting our automation suite, that sits alongside our contact center applications. We're adding advanced weight treatment, segmentation routing, experience selection, and these are all capabilities, that allow you to deliver extra value and enhance the customer experience, alongside your existing solutions today. You saw an example of equinox meanings online, which is available today already.
You have conferencing, full multimedia conferencing collaboration available as a service from the Cloud, integrated into your own frame or environment. Again, adaptable innovation. So that's gonna be a significant theme going forward for us as we go forward. So there are many other innovations we're working on. So just wanted to quickly run through and give you a flavor of the things that are coming, again, the key themes around automation intelligence, Cloud first architectures and adaptable innovations, and these are themes that are gonna infuse and drive in to our portfolio on ongoing basis.
We are accelerating the portfolios I mentioned earlier, to enable you to deliver superior user experiences and drive excellent operations. So with that, I'm going to change gears here a little bit, and invite Greg Graham to join me on stage, Greg's a PSCU and I'd like to have him share with you some of the experiences they have in the transformation journey, that'd been on for the contact center, Craig?
>> Okay, okay.
>> Thank you, Greg.
>> So let me start, first off Craig with you providing an overview of who PSCU is.
>> Absolutely. So PSCU is a credit union service organization. We provide financial services to a group of credit unions who are cooperative. So we have 850 credit unions that are members of the cooperative.
We provide card and debit services for all prevention, collections, loyalty programs, a whole range of member services. We support about 40 million members, and average about 2.1 billion transactions per year.
>> Wow! These are large numbers. Would it be fair to say you operate like a BPO? Is that a fair assessment?
>> Yeah, we are a BPO, so a big part of our offering is contacts in our services. Not only do we provide that as part of our general services, but as a service by itself. I've been doing contact center technology for about 20 years. It's ever evolving. I've been involved with Avaya for quite a while.
You guys are committed to the contact center, so it's very much appreciated.
>> Okay, happy to help. So you mentioned, again, the word digital transformation. I feel like it's been repeated over and over again, but I'll use it one more time. It's a big theme in the contact center.
Can you share a little bit about your decision to transform, and why you selected Avaya to help you on the journey?
>> Sure, so financial services, credit unions are no difference. It's a very highly competitive space. And so our member credit unions are always looking for leading edge technology, and the ability to stay current.
So being on that digital transformation is a place that we have to be. And going from the tried and true voice contact center to a [INAUDIBLE] contact center is, it's just part of that. We chose to go with Avaya in large part, because many of the things that you guys are talking about here today.
The road map, and the alignment with Avaya's road map with our vision, works well.
>> So maybe let's go one level deeper, and could you share what are some of the specific capabilities you are seeking and that Avaya is providing to you today?
>> Sure, so we're 24 by 7 365 days a year, so stability is very important, high availability is very important, and we get that with Avaya Solution.
But that sort of table stakes today, right? So we are also looking for a great customer service platform. Customer service is key to the credit union industry, and it's a core part of the PSEU business model. Road map alignment, again, the move to artificial intelligence, to the bot capability providing Omnichannel, accurate matching, a lot of the stuff that's been talked about.
We're right in line with what we're attempting to do. Scale, so we're in a very aggressive growth mode as a company. So we wanted a platform that would scale with us, as we grew. And then, finally, integration is a big part of what we were looking for. So we've been around for a number of years.
We have large investments in multiple applications. So we're looking for a product like but also the ability to easily integrate with some of the investments that we've already made. And so we get that, so that's a big part of it, also.
>> Excellent, so now executing your transformation like the one you're on is no easy feat.
Could you share a little bit about the approach you're taking in order to do that?
>> Yeah, so we're extremely at risk at first, right? Financial services we don't do anything in a hurry, but we're needed to be in a hurry. So our approach was to get the system in, and up and running quickly.
Really like for like. That allowed us to minimize impact to our customers. It also kept the learning curve for our agents at a minimum. Once we had everything up and running, then we started looking at introducing additional capabilities. So in our contact center, the customer journey capability, business advocate was big.
We're very interested in getting on to attribute based routing. So all those things are part of what we're doing going forward now. The announcements today around AI, that's gonna be big for what we're looking to do.
>> Okay, so last question is about the future. So clearly you're on this journey, it's a multi-step journey.
What is on your road map as you look forward?
>> Yeah, so the road map going forward, immediate road map, so Equinox was spoken about. We're getting ready to do an enterprise wide deployment of Equinox. We have more and more people working remotely.
>> So it's gonna be big for collaboration within our company.
We have multiple business units, we're doing a big project around Outbound, that we're moving onto. In longer term, the Cloud is where it's at. So when we decided to put this solution in, the conversation was this most likely will be the last premise based contact center we deploy.
We firmly believe that. So what you're doing with Cloud, and knowing that we can move into the Cloud with full support from Avaya and the stuff that you're doing, is great thing to hear today. Oceana also, so we have a pilot, we're gonna around Oceana and deploying that for Omnichannel, really taking advantage of the bot capability.
>> Excellent, well thank you, Greg, I mean that's fantastic, the journey you're on appreciate you sharing with the forum here today your experiences. And good luck-
>> Yeah, thank you, you too.
>> We look forward to working with you.
>> Thank you.
>> So with that, I'll turn the stage back over to Laura, thank you for your attention and Laura, back to you.