A select group of Cerium’s staff joined over 2,700 Avaya executives, customers, partners, consultants, members of the press and industry pundits at Avaya ENGAGE 2019 in Austin, Texas, the premier industry trade show for Avaya/Nortel users. ENGAGE featured four days of general sessions, workshops, and breakouts presented by leading industry-experts and inspirational speakers, as well as an extensive expo with over 100 exhibitors from around the globe. Avaya ENGAGE offered the Cerium contingent opportunities for actively networking with their peers across our industry and helped them to stay abreast of the latest technological advances, emerging trends, changing consumer dynamics, and shifting markets.
Avaya’s Big Announcements
Avaya made several exciting announcements during ENGAGE including:
- Avaya Intelligent Xperiences (Avaya IX), a simplified branding architecture encompassing Avaya’s complete portfolio of Contact Center and Unified Communications solutions.
- Their expanded partnership with Verint Systems Inc. to extend Workforce Engagement Management (WEM) to the Cloud with Avaya IX Workforce Engagement.
- Avaya OneCloud ReadyNow, a new private cloud delivery model for UCaaS and CCaaS, providing organizations a fast, convenient and automated path to the cloud.
- Avaya Virtual Assistant for Slack, designed to enhance team collaboration and productivity without the need to switch between applications.
- Avaya’s first integrated location reporting solution for emergency response management, providing real-time information that can help make the difference in life or death situations.
Cerium Takeaways from ENGAGE
The business updates, technology reveals, and discussions about Avaya’s future direction and focus made a lasting impression on the Cerium attendees. After the event they shared their experiences with their coworkers, providing insight into Avaya’s vision for the future that helps Cerium update our roadmap for achieving market success with Avaya products and services.
Steve Fisher, Cerium Account Executive, attended ENGAGE and shared his thoughts on the event “Based on feedback from my customers and my own impressions from what I heard and saw at ENGAGE, I came back more positive about Avaya overall, their new leadership, and their product direction.” Steve also noted, “Most of their executive leadership has been there less than a year, and they have been bringing in new, outside people with start-up experience – entrepreneurial thinking instead of operational focus to grow the business.”
Two of the speakers left a big impression on Tom Comfort, Cerium Solutions Architect, “Keynote speaker Peyton Manning stressed how paying intense attention to all the details will improve performance, and Becki Drum from the Disney Institute who spoke about how Disney’s competitive edge is their excruciating focus on every detail of the customer experience.” Tom also saw a common theme emphasized in many of the Avaya presentations, “My impression is that Avaya is focused on the cloud. Pure cloud, hybrid cloud, and customer cloud; all of the discussions about Avaya’s future deliverables focused on the cloud as the foundation.”
Cerium Account Executive, Scott Petersen, pointed out four major areas that Avaya seems to be focused on. “First, Avaya made a number of innovations in unified communications and contact center that will result in richer and better analytics and insights. Second, Avaya’s cloud offers are stronger with enterprise-grade, global delivery, AWS integration, and revamped POC processes making it easy to stand up new secure, reliable solutions quickly and migrate easily from on-prem solution. Third, Avaya is pushing its direct services organization as best in breed with global expertise for complex solutions, and the fourth area is how Avaya is leveraging advances in AI to introduce new capabilities in UC and contact center.” Scott said.
Pat McGlenn, Cerium Account Executive, described what he learned about Avaya’s contact center strategy at the event. “Avaya appears to be focused on layered innovation for the contact center, not on big revolutionary changes. There are some great new features and changes being deployed for Avaya Aura Call Center Elite including, integration with Afiniti AI-based behavioral pairing solutions and conversational speech engine support.”
Customer Journey Demo
Attendees from Cerium were impressed by the quality of the presentations at ENGAGE and the real-world value they provided. They were particularly impressed with a demonstration of a customer journey given by the Avaya team on the Expo floor. The demo leveraged several technologies to create a compelling “journey” for a bank customer seeking an auto loan. The demo began with the customer using Amazon Alexa to contact the bank via an echo device. It incorporated Google translate for text and speech translation between French and English. It also showed off Avaya Oceana’s seamless customer experience features as the interaction progressed from the Web to a mobile device to speak with a call center agent on an Avaya Equinox softclient.
Every year, Avaya ENGAGE provides opportunities for Cerium employees to join with thousands of like-minded professionals around the globe who share their passion and enthusiasm for unified communication and collaboration technology. It brings the community together to share best practices, experience timely and relevant training, and create valuable networks among Avaya partners.
Cerium is always innovating, always learning, and always fine-tuning our commitment to creating experiences that matter. Avaya ENGAGE reenergizes Cerium, gets our creative juices flowing, and spurs innovation. We look forward to attending Avaya ENGAGE 2020 next year!