Avaya TV

IDC: How Digital Transformation is Affecting UC Video

IDC Analyst Rich Costello and Avaya Director of Product Management Paul Relf discuss how Digital Transformation Powers the New UC Work Experience.


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Many view digital transformation as being at the heart of the change in business communications and collaboration today. And the foundation for how organizations can stay relevant in the future. Customers, employees, and partners are demanding a more user driven communications experience that fits into how they work instead of changing how they work.

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The new communications experience is characterized by solutions that are accessible on browsers. Integrated with user applications, and ready to go on mobile devices of choice for calling, messaging, meeting, and sharing data. Recent IBC Technologies spotlight research explores important trends, benefits and solutions beyond the traditional desktop workspace in the evolving UCNC market.

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It also discusses the key role that our buyer plays in this increasingly strategic area. With me to discuss this evolution is Paul Relf, Head of Product Management for Avaya UC Solutions. Welcome, Paul. When I look at what Avaya is bringing to the market in support of digital business transformation, I'm struck by the new Avaya Equinox user interface.

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You call it a mobile- first design, can you tell us a bit more about Equinox and that design concept?
>> Yeah, absolutely. There's really two aspects. The first which is most important, is the user interface itself and we really optimized around the mobile workforce. If you think about it, the average person checks their mobile phone about 84 times a day.

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And so we're highly mobile, we're multitasking all the time. So what we did with the Avaya Equinox user experience is that we optimized it around helping people stay connected in their day, in the moment of the day, so you can get work done. So what meetings you need to join, what persistent chats you need to reply to.

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It's really optimized around keeping the communication flowing. The second aspect is really around the back end technology because people expect 100% outcomes. So we've got a lot of technology around ensuring that we deliver HD audio, HD video. We have resiliency as people move from network to network, enjoying the meeting, full collaboration.

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And switch from Wi-Fi to LTE with no disruption. So a lot of behind the scenes technology to make sure that the user actually gets the best outcome.
>> So how does Equinox take that Mobile-first paradigm, and make it useful for desk workers, particularly in this age of cloud applications?

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>> Very good question actually. There's a lot of innovation happening even on the desktop. When you think about it, notebooks themselves are portable devices, you see lots of people working out of coffee shops. They demand the same thing, only obviously, now you have more real estate, more windows so you can multitask more effectively.

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So we have the Equinox runs on Mac and Windows applications. But the real innovation is actually happening in the browser. And there's two aspects left. One is just from a cost point of view. If you think about it, a lot of our customers that are looking at how they moved all of their native applications to browser.

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They're no longer tied to an operating system, they're no longer tied to hardware, virtual desktop environments. It's completely accessible by a browser. But from a user interface point of view and that's really where the magic is if you will, is that when you consume these browser applications, cloud applications, software, as a service.

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They all have APIs that allow you to orchestrate workflow. So with our Avaya Equinox solution, we insert our collaboration right into your cloud app. So if I'm in my CRM or my HR app I can just collaborate right from them. Or I'm creating a Google Doc or I'm in Office 365, and you're able to insert the collaboration right in the application of choice.

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And that makes it highly contextual and powerful from an end user point of view.
>> A concern we hear often from our IDC customers is about the complexity of UC solutions. For many customers, unified communications is anything but unified. How does Avaya respond to that?
>> That's a really good question and it's a very astute observation.

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And this is one of the things that was a focus area for us for us with Avaya Equinox solution. And so what we wanted to do is relative to the different collaboration tools that people might be using. They might be using service provider audio conferencing, web based desktop sharing.

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They have separate video infrastructure. There's a lot of different islands if you will. So what we have is one software based solution that allows you to address all of your use cases for collaboration on a single platform. So therefore you get better ROI, you can go in and start to save money in one case and still able to address all of those needs.

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So you can do your high scale audio conferencing, you can do your desktop collaboration, integration with existing room systems, all your group video solutions, all of that interoperability. In one software platform that gets optimized for the protector use case. And of course, those collaboration features our accessible via highly engaging user experience that we've created.

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>> One of the things that has interested me in particular regarding Avaya's strategy is this notion of creating unique or custom experiences for individual customers or verticals. You've also launched the Avaya Breeze Client SDK and Avaya Vantage for these types of custom requirements. Can you tell us a bit more about that?

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>> Absolutely, it's actually a very exciting time cuz the whole industry is on the verge of a shift. And if you think about what's happening all around us, there's all sorts of disruption, every vertical's being disrupted. And what's happening essentially, is that we have access to programming interfaces.

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We have access to data and we have mobility, and we can combine these things to create very unique and compelling solutions. So what we've done with the Avaya Breeze Client SDK essentially is that when we build our apps, the software development kit that we use internally, we made it available to everybody.

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>> Right.
>> So all of our development partners, all of our customers, they can take all or parts of the whole experience. So everything that you can do in our application, you can then expose in a vertical context. And that's really where the magic happens. Cuz if you think about it, what line of business is looking for, they're looking for way to drive better business performance.

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Specifically KPIs, ROI, in terms of how they offer better user experience, all sorts of aspects like that. So what we're able to do now for the first time is take our enterprise communications platform now and insert it in the vertical context. And so from a hospitality point of view we're looking at how do we create these hugely compelling guest experiences?

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Healthcare, there's just so much opportunity for improvement in terms of making the collaborative care team more effective and engaged to deliver better patient outcome. There's lots of opportunity ahead of us from a digital transformation point of view. And the only way you can realize that is if you open up your solution and that's exactly what we've done.

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The Avaya Vantage device is another example of that. And this is really evolution of an end. So Avaya Vantage is an all glass end point. And it is a fusion of the mobile apps implicity in terms of how you navigate applications, mobi touch. A mobile application ecosystem, and combine that with the benefits and familiarity of a dedicated endpoint.

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So things like acoustic excellence for speakerphone, handset functionality. And these out of the box user experiences that run on Vantage. And we can also create completely custom user interfaces and applications that run on this device using that same software development kit. So it's one software development kit, same one that we use is now available to everybody.

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So we can go and verticalize quickly to drive the business performance. That's really what we're looking for.
>> It's great stuff. Thanks for sharing your insight with us.
>> Thank you very much.
>> Okay.

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