• United States

Avaya aims for merged media

Mar 15, 20043 mins
Data Center

* Avaya integrates personal communications

One of the nice things about modern communication media is that there are so many to choose from. Virtually everyone has at least one e-mail address, a desk phone with voicemail, and a cell phone. Increasingly, additional media like instant messaging are being added to this cadre of tools to enable even more effective communication.

Take the example of a customer calling with a complex technical question. The customer service representative needs to find an expert who isn’t busy and can answer the question. Ideally, the representative would like to put the expert on the phone with the user so that they can all resolve the questions together. Today, this usually requires time on hold, calling the customer back, sending e-mail, and other artificial mechanisms for combining the various communications media.

This week, Avaya announces “user-centric” communication, to merge these different media into a single, integrated tool.

With the wide array of choices, it can be difficult to know how best to reach someone. There’s also the possibility of simultaneously using many media to address a given situation, as with our customer calling for help. Juggling all of this requires significant effort on the part of users. Maintaining all of the channels and manually shifting from one to another can be difficult and complex.

Avaya brings technology that focuses on making it all work together. The promise is for increased productivity by connecting the right person, in the right place, at the right time, in the right ways.

The advantage of putting people in control of the communication technology they use is obvious, but the diversity of the technology and the historical divisions between the options have made it difficult to manage as a cohesive whole. Avaya uses Session Initiation Protocol to converge communications across every medium – from your desk phone to IM, voicemail and your calendar.

The focus of this converged communication system is to provide transparent use of all available media to each user. This means, for example, that you can start a call on your cellular phone and finish it at your desk phone – transparently. You can also combine multiple channels, discovering that people with whom you’d like to communicate are on the phone, so you should use IM to reach them, but then connect them into your telephone conversation when they are available. The power of creating a collaborative communication environment that covers all of the potential personal communication media is clear and will be a key productivity enhancement tool for organizations that embrace it.

Communication continues to be the key to successful business. Avaya’s Communication Management System and related technologies presents a solid evolutionary advance to the simplicity of converged communication. It should herald a welcome improvement for all of us.