BlogTop 3 Takeaways from the 2016 Avaya Engage (formerly IAUGConverge) Conference

Top 3 Takeaways from the 2016 Avaya Engage (formerly IAUGConverge) Conference

juni 9, 2016, Communications Lifecycle Management

Written by; Larry Foster, Head of Product Strategy

The transformational impact of a highly interconnected digital world

Attending the recent Avaya IAUG conference was a clear affirmation that the rapidly changing world of digitally-enabled business has a domino effect. It is driving a sea change in organizations – pressing them to embrace new strategies to retool their communication infrastructures or risk becoming a footnote to competitors.

Calero at Avaya Engage


This interconnected, multi-facet always-on anywhere/anytime/any mode of web-based communications is well upon us. Communication technologies are no longer about hardware or even limited to the software you buy, but rather driven by the creative imagination to build upon web-based platforms to create an engaging experience that helps you improve your relationship with your clients and create a unique competitive edge.

For those unable to attend, I will share my top three takeaway points from the conference:

1. Proprietary telecom hardware is prehistoric

I’ve spent years in the telecom industry, and attending Avaya’s conferences used to be about checking out the latest hardware innovations – most of which would inevitably require large capital investments, months of planning, testing and tightly orchestrated upgrade and cutover deployments. No more.

Avaya has transformed into a “solutions” company and today’s telecom solutions are all about platform innovations ranging from software Avaya’s SDN Fx™ – software defined networks based on fabric architecture – which provides enhanced cybersecurity, automatic provisioning and faster deployment of services to Avaya’s WebRTC applications that fall under Avaya’s Cloud Application Link.

Organizations transforming from legacy hardware-based TDM platforms to software-defined architectures no longer have to build year-long or even multi-month projects that end up in an all-or-nothing razors-edge flash cutover event from one proprietary hardware platform to another. Organizations will also benefit from repurposing their newly empty switch rooms as they replace the clunky hardware with software that is simply installed and configured on common server platforms in the data center.

2. Engagement is the word

A standing joke in the telecom industry used to be “There is nothing unified about unified communications”. Engagement today represents a progression of communication events. Communication in a digitally-enabled business now encompasses every method necessary to facilitate an engaging and productive interaction anywhere and anytime.

As companies work to leverage the multi modes of voice, video, instant messaging, conferencing and email, the results can be disjointed at best and totally overwhelming at times. It is not uncommon to have a call center representative have to bounce between multiple communications tools to solve simple inquires. This type of communication disparity can easily discourage workers that want to get their job done as quickly and easily as possible. WebRTC-based communication is enabled via a browser, so users are no longer tied to geographic restrictions of office-enabled proprietary hardware. That means that communication sessions that start in one mode such as voice can now seamlessly encompass video, desktop sharing and messaging – without ever leaving a browser session. There is no user experience differentiation in using a web browser on your desktop versus your LTE or Wi-Fi enabled mobile device.

3. The long-term forecast is open cloud platforms

Probably the most exciting aspect of the conference was seeing Avaya’s transformation to become a leading web-based platform. Avaya has pushed the previous futuristic concepts of anywhere/anytime Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC) by embedding features like voice, video and directory lookup to allow users to seamlessly extend any web session into a progressive multi-facet collaboration engagement.  Avaya accomplished this remarkably quick transformation by building upon key announcements from its 2015 IAUG conference:

  • Last year Avaya introduced Avaya Engagement as its development platform to help organizations customize their communication capabilities. Over the last year, Avaya beefed up its SDK capabilities and rebranded its development platform to Avaya BreezeTM. Avaya also hosted its first Hackathon as a proving ground to help Avaya customers learn how easy it is to develop custom solutions within the timeframe of the conference.
  • Also last year Avaya announced the acquisition of Esna, a provider of real-time collaboration and communications software. In March Avaya introduced Zang at Enterprise Connect as their new “Communication Platform as a Service” (CPaaS). Avaya’s CPaaS strategy is a major strategic paradigm shift since it means its go-forward innovation strategy will rely heavily on a community of solution development partners, rather than sole control of the end solution. With Zang®, Avaya is joining the growing arena of “Platform as a Service” (PaaS) solution providers like Salesforce, Microsoft and Google. Avaya’s platform will focus on enabling communications.
  • Avaya has also built out an impressive array of innovative web-based collaboration solutions under the umbrella of Avaya’s Cloud Application Link. Avaya’s Cloud Application Link interconnects web pages across the enterprise ranging from CRM sessions in Salesforce to Google Apps, Email, and Microsoft Office 365 with Avaya Aura® and Avaya Scopia®. Users can call a client by simply leveraging the “click-to-call” capability within their salesforce session. Once a communication session is started, there is no limit to how the participants can leverage the full suite of voice, video, messaging and email collaboration tools to facilitate a highly engaging session.

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