Application Ecosystems and the Future of the Contact Center

Digital transformation is about creating experiences that matter, but what does this look like within the contact center? Effortless self-service, agent augmentation, interaction insights, smart pairing…nowhere close to what one vendor alone offers today. This is where we see the benefits of an application ecosystem approach, which allows organizations to flexibly assess and adopt the technologies and changes needed for providing incredible customer and agent experiences. Gartner predicts that by 2025, the average contact center organization will be exploiting these benefits to better equip staff and enhance service. 

What’s driving this move to an ecosystem approach? According to Gartner:

  • Many vendors are narrowly focusing on getting the customer connected, overlooking other critical aspects of superior experiences that organizations need.
  • Companies want the operational and financial flexibility of a usage-based model versus an ownership-based model. They want to be free of the technology refresh cycle to more quickly adapt and innovate.
  • Advanced technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) have become foundational to the contact center of the future. The overwhelming majority of organizations are now leveraging some form of AI in this area of business.

Additionally, an Avaya research study conducted by Vanson Bourne finds that 93% of global organizations surveyed identify AI as one of the most important technologies for their contact center, and that 85% will need to look for more third-party support in order to get the most out of AI. The next 10 years will see more change to the contact center than the previous 100. An application ecosystem provides access to seemingly endless “click-to-add” apps and features (i.e. additional AI, speech analytics, advanced reporting, smart routing, robotic process automation) to create a custom-fit contact center environment that meets the exact needs of employees and customers—today, tomorrow and forever.

Avaya has been working hard to support our customers for this paradigm shift, enabling an expansive application marketplace for building this contact center of the future. Most recently, we announced Avaya’s integration with Google Cloud to provide organizations with the level of flexibility, efficiency and scalability they need to deploy powerful, simplified, AI-enhanced communication and collaboration solutions that transform the customer and agent experience.

Some key innovations within this partnership include:

  • Virtual Agents: Virtual assistant technology is a key driver of the global contact center software market’s projected CAGR of 22% between 2019 and 2024. These human-like automated bots can seamlessly interact with customers, assisting them with simpler inquiries while offloading agents until they are needed. Should a customer want to escalate a bot conversation to a live person, all context gathered during the interaction will be made easily accessible to the agent.
  • Agent Assist: AI-enhanced applications can assist agents with improved knowledge management, providing the right information at the right time; real-time conversational analysis (both for text- and voice-based interactions) to better understand things like sentiment and intention to deliver more meaningful service; and AI algorithms for determining “next best action.”
  • Conversational Topic Modeling: Google Topic Modeling combined with Avaya AI enables agents to leverage real-time visibility of topics with each conversation turn. This helps achieve desired impact with an understanding of key trends and patterns in communications to recommend responses, facilitate best actions, and uniquely tailor every customer conversation.

Yet this is just one of many advancements we’ve made to enhance our Avaya IXTM Contact Center solution portfolio. We extended collaboration with Avaya A.I. Connect Partner, Nuance, to enable new self-service automation capabilities within our IX Contact Center solutions. This deepened integration provides additional speech enhancements—leveraging the latest in AI-driven machine learning speech recognition capabilities—for businesses to better personalize customer interactions, reducing friction and customer frustration.

Sestek—a leader in voice biometrics, speech recognition, text-to-speech and conversational AI—also recently joined the Avaya DevConnect ecosystem, which will enable our customers to leverage everything from ready-made solutions validated for interoperability to custom-tailored contact center applications.

As they say: if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. Avaya believes in making its platforms friendly to innovative third-party tech leaders to deliver the utmost value to customers and their end-users. This application ecosystem is the future of the contact center, and it’s a vision we stand behind. These recent advancements and integration partnerships paint the picture of how we’re fortifying our customers’ contact center strategies.  

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