Networks specialist Avaya has announced additions to its Aura SIP platform, designed to meet growing demand from SMEs for call centre capabilities.
Chief among the updates is a WorkForce Optimisation tool that offers a range of functions, including call recording, quality control, optimisation analytics and speech analytics, to help improve interactions with customers.
"The number of SMEs wanting to move beyond purely using a customer relationship management system to a full call centre experience is growing rapidly, and WorkForce Optimisation can help firms of between 150 and 1,000 seats to do this," said Nigel Moulton, Avaya's director of product marketing.
"Many firms now see the benefit of a dedicated system for their call handling to improve interaction with customers for support and sales, and the legal position of having all calls recorded is important for many firms too."
Avaya has also upgraded its IQ analytics tool to version 5.1, promising to help organisations monitor how they handle calls, and has launched Proactive Outreach Manager to host outbound multimedia interactions on a single platform.
"Customers contact firms through email, SMS or the phone, so it's important that firms are able to do the same with outbound communications to help improve their connections with customers," said Moulton.
Among the other announcements is a series of upgrades to Avaya's Contact Centre product, including improvements to its Customer Experience Management tool, and the launch of Agile Communications Environment (ACE) 2.2.
"With ACE firms can develop bespoke applications to sit on the system architecture in order to take advantage of our underlying structure, and yet create tools more suited to their needs dependant on how they interact with customers," Moulton said.
ACE 2.2 includes an Event Response Manager that Avaya claims will reduce downtime and increase efficiency by automatically notifying the relevant people when issues occur.
"We are trying to change the nature of call centres to put customers at the heart of the call and have the agents revolve around them, and to allow large enterprises and SMEs to improve their communications capabilities," Moulton added.
Further updates include improving the scalability of Session Manager 6 to handle 100,000 users, up from 50,000, for SIP phones and video endpoints.
Moulton explained that companies will need to use Communication Manager 6.0, which runs on the SIP framework of the Aura platform, to take advantage of the upgrades to the Contact Centre product.
WorkForce Optimisation and IQ 5.1 will be available around November, while the upgrades to Contact Centre will be available from 31 July. Full pricing will be announced in August on a per-seat per-licence basis.
The Avaya announcement comes on the same day that ShoreTel announced the launch of is Contact Centre 6 product.
The software will use real time APIs and event feeds to give staff more information to improve customer interaction, with support available for up to 2,000 agents, including 1,000 concurrently, the comms firm said.
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