By Larry Foster, Head of Product Strategy
I have just returned from the 2017 Avaya ENGAGE conference in Las Vegas. Presented by Avaya and IAUG, the group has consolidated all their legacy events into one unified engagement which gathered 2300 attendees including 900 solution partners. Consolidation makes sense now that Avaya has transformed from providing legacy hardware solutions to being a software communications platform provider that enables their partners to build new complementary solutions on. Therefore, engaging value-add solution partners is becoming the most important component of this event.
Similar to the recap I created for the 2016 Avaya ENGAGE conference, below I have shared my top 3 takeaways from 2017:
Avaya’s President & Chief Executive Officer, Kevin Kennedy, provided clarification during the opening keynote about Avaya’s decision to file Chapter 11 on January 19, 2017. In short, their filing of chapter Title 11 under United States Bankruptcy Code permits Avaya to reorganize its debts in more favorable terms. He also provided detail on their revenues, gross margins, very healthy EBITDA and the eagerness of financial institutions to provide loans to help them successfully complete this restructure so that Avaya customers can acquire many of the innovations that were demonstrated throughout the conference. We have all seen cases where Chapter 11 allows companies the opportunity to emerge as world class competitors. I know almost all the airlines have leveraged this financial tool over the past decade as well as a few leading global car manufacturers.
The fastest growing companies in the world today are capitalizing on the new Communication Platform as a Service (CPaaS) offered by Avaya. Avaya showcased how some well-known solution providers like HPE, Salesforce and Uber have built disruptive communication-enabled solutions leveraging the APIs published by Avaya. The concept of innovating completely self-service workflows predicated on communication technologies is transforming entire industries such as transportation, travel, healthcare, hospitality and client services.
Until I saw the VR demonstration at the conference, I regarded it as a technology to enhance the gaming experience. It simply requires a specialized headset that is either inexpensive or is provided free by some vendors. The VR headset interfaces to your smartphone to create a modern day virtualized slide projector. The rest of the VR experienced is enabled through a mobile application communicating over the network. VR is fairly affordable. The killer VR application that caught my attention was one that enables a consumer to virtually experience aspects of a potential vacation before engaging a travel agent. The VR travel agent synchronizes with the consumer wearing the VR headset and guides them through a variety of sites before booking the most favorable one.
Over the last few years, advancements in Analytics are creating a dramatic paradigm shift by empowering end users with tools to conduct self-service analysis. This type of advanced analysis previously required expensive tools and a direct reliance on scarce, highly technical IT resources to develop the analytics.
I had the pleasure of getting up on stage to share information about the evolution and business value of leveraging the new analytical capabilities that are now available. Analytics has evolved to be a necessity for running business. Today’s telecom managers have access to new insights that help them become more recognized in the organization as a strategic enabler.
Judging by the follow-up questions and comments post the live presentation, I can say with confidence that there is a solid, and growing interest in this category of telecom analytics. As such, I’ll add a little self-promotion below, so you can head off and do some additional research on Calero.com.
As part of its TEM, MMS, Call Accounting and overall Communications Lifecycle Management approach, Calero offers embedded analytics capabilities that complements its legacy reports, facilitates more fact-based decisions, provides visual facts to substantiate investments and reduce expenses, and applies predictive algorithms to more rapidly replicate the operational manager’s decision process. You can visit the solution page for our embedded analytics solution, Calero InSight Analytics, to watch videos and learn how it may be able to help your organization.