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All the major business telephone system
providers face the challenge of gracefully
migrating their legacy voice-based technologies to a
mobile, multi-modal, UC-enabled communications environment. Under it's "Customer Experience
Management" portfolio, Avaya recently announced some new
UC-enabling capabilities for self service "mobile apps" for premised-based contact
center operations under the label of "Customer Connections Mobile."
This announcement included continued support for mobile voice self-service applications using VXML (IVR).
Such voice applications, which can be most useful for
hands-free applications (e.g., when driving a car),
include: driving directions, emergency notifications,
voice access to email, voice dialing, and directory
assistance applications. VoiceXML has tags that
instruct the voice browser to provide speech synthesis,
automatic speech recognition,
dialog management, and audio playback."
described it's new multi-modal customer service capabilities to
me this way:
"Customer Connections Mobile (CCM) has two primary
functions. One is a visual self service menu in
which the user navigates through screens to access
information. Should the user require additional
assistance or wish to speak to an expert, they can
request an agent."
"If an agent
is available, the caller (who started out in self
service) will receive assistance from the agent. If
there are no agents available, the caller will see
their estimated time to answer (ETA) and will be
able to request an immediate callback or a scheduled
callback (at a time of their choosing). "
"Customer Connections Mobile does not include a
‘click to IM chat’ element, handle speech
recognition (though might be possible), or
accommodate text-to-speech. The ‘click for
assistance’ is to speak to a live agent…if one is
available or request a callback (as described
This announcement by Avaya is evidence of progress in
evolving the "UC Contact Center," both as on premise
technologies and as "cloud"-based services. Note, however, when Avaya talks about "visual self-services," they mean real-time video chat or "video IVR." Online interactive self-service applications will come from Web portals, but, with appropriate CCM APIs, can invoke the above described flexible access to live assistance.