Digital Transformation is all about facilitating enterprises to use technology to improve traditional processes. With Voice Recognition technology about to make a big impact on businesses in the region, Avaya has been at the forefront of its development.
Avaya has developed the integration of AI-Enhanced technologies, including biometrics and real-time sentiment analysis to its communication platforms, enabling enterprises to elevate voice as a key user interface for richer, more seamless, secure customer and employee experiences.
Driven by the growing consumer demand for more intuitive experiences and positive outcomes, businesses are being pressured to reimagine their approach to customer and employee engagement.
A recent Avaya survey of more than 8,000 consumers found that over 70% prefer contacting customer services by phone and believe it is the most effective means of getting the best answer.
At the same time, there is a growing body of evidence that suggests increasing customer acceptance and demand for digital technologies like chatbots and biometrics, and research indicates that 25% of interactions with these technologies will be conversational.
“Voice remains the cornerstone of customer service, and there is a clear opportunity for its extended application to enrich customer journeys,” said Chris McGugan, Avaya Senior Vice President of Solutions and Technology.
“Through our position as the leading provider of enterprise communications solutions, and our customer-centric approach to innovation, we have been embracing new and exciting technologies that enable us to effectively address these changing customer preferences and deliver voice as a more powerful user interface, for both customers and employees.”
As a champion of the API (application programming interface) economy, Avaya has embraced opening its Oceana and Equinox platform development capabilities for unified communications (UC) and contact centres (CC), expanding the breadth and capabilities of its Software Development Kit.
This includes ecosystem partners and internal developers incorporating conversational AI, natural language processing, analytics and cognitive Machine Learning – to enhance the capabilities of Avaya solutions and merging UC and CC for a more connected enterprise experience.
For businesses to stay relevant, it is essential they invest in technologies that enable them to serve customers how, when, and where these customers chose to engage with the organisation.
Avaya’s Oceana use cases, include conversational IVR for biometrics integration, sentiment-based routing of calls – allowing customers to make inquiries and receive an immediate considered response either on personalised digital channels from the most capable service agent or back office expert via a context rich personalised experience.
With increasing numbers of millennials and digital-natives in the workforce, businesses must empower these individuals to connect and collaborate seamlessly with customers and fellow employees via their preferred channels, irrespective of their location, device and communication channel.
Avaya has is enriched its Equinox Unified Communications platform by integrating cognitive services from organisations such as Microsoft and Google to deliver voice-enabled virtual assistants for the enterprise.
Avaya has demonstrated two factor BioID authentication via facial and voice biometrics, contextual transcription and real time translation with intent recognition, that serves as a personalised assistant to each employee, enhancing their productivity and increasing job satisfaction.
“For most of us, voice is the primary mode for communicating our thoughts and expressing our feelings with others – our families, friends, co-workers. Gartner suggests that there will be as many as four billion digital assistants by 2022, and if this number is any indication of consumers’ preference for voice-based engagement, it would be fair to assume that they would prefer voice to communicate with businesses as well,” said McGugan.
“Organisations that recognise this and embrace voice-enabled technologies can expect marked improvements in customer loyalty and satisfaction. As Avaya looks to pioneer new and enriched engagement experiences, we are delivering entirely new ways for voice to be intuitively leveraged across all touch points.”
Intelligent CIO spoke to Savio Tovar Dias, Senior Director Sales Engineering, Avaya, to find out more.
Can you just tell how Avaya’s real time translation works please?”
These technologies help us deliver much better customer service. We are delivering business outcomes that solve real customer problems. One of the things we see is that many of our customers deliver service in a couple of languages. But as usual you might need skills in other languages and drive help and assistance especially in the services industry for people who need help in Chinese or various other languages.
What they require is platforms that integrate technologies that do real time translation. So you could come to Dubai and you only speak German, the Dubai government services might not have a German speaker but what you can do is naturally speak German. The agent automatically gets a transcription of that German into English and can respond back to you and you hear German back. So that’s a real time translation element.
Are there any particular verticals that this tool is aimed at?
We do have vertical specific demos but at the end of the day if a customer needs that service we will deliver it. My own personal opinion is that you will see it adopted mainly in government entities. You’ll see immigration services and frontline citizen help services using it. As you know old cities like London have a number of people that don’t speak English and this would be phenomenal to provide help and assistance to people of that nature and assimilate them in to the environment or the city in a much faster manner by providing services and their need of languages.
How can the voice be used as a key user interface?
Everybody goes down the path of least resistance and what has happened is we’ve seen this migration where you used to call in to a contact centre but then it just became simpler to text and everybody seems to be able to text. What we’re seeing is the adoption of the new wave of voice technologies and using consumer devices like Alexa, Google Home and Apple Smart Home to provide services for yourself. You’re sitting in your home, you’re on your couch and chatting with your bank. You could just say ‘Alexa connect me to my bank please’ and Alexa will reach out to the bot in the bank and then start to communicate with your bank or the flower shop or any other service that you might need.
People tend to prefer to contact customer services by phone. Is it because they distrust technology?
I think that is changing. If you look at all industry trends you’re beginning to see a number of channels such as social media, the web chats and Facebook Messenger that are more accepted. But what we’re beginning to see is with the voice channel you’re beginning to see more critical issues come in. Providers have alternate channels to do their regular information queries but when it’s a critical ask or there’s an escalation people don’t want to scream at a bot they want to scream at a human being but we’re beginning to see this channel used for more critical issues.
So there’s a growing acceptance of chatbots etc?
Yes. There is because in many instances there’s a maturity of these technologies that means you might not realise that you’re actually talking to a bot.
Can you tell me about how you’ve been delivering voice enabled virtual assistants for enterprises?
Speech technologies have gotten more mature. They provide you with an element of AI and virtual assistance that can help you through your work day. The adoption should be easier because it is rather simple to use.