Avaya last week unveiled software that the company says will let customers extend call-center capabilities to multiple sites over IP.Avaya\u00a0last week unveiled software that the company says will let customers extend call-center capabilities to multiple sites over IP.The Customer Interaction Suite is server software that could help improve efficiency of large customer-service centers by integrating voice, e-mail and text chat call-center capabilities with other applications such as interactive voice response (IVR) and back-end CRM system integration.While these features from Avaya are not new, the twist with this latest release is that the applications now can run on a standard server, instead of in hardware on a proprietary automatic call distributor (ACD). Avaya says this feature can let customers use advanced call-center applications on a wider variety of ACDs, including IP ACDs, and distribute features to multiple locations."This is more of a regrouping of products by Avaya," says Mary Wardley, an IDC analyst who covers the call-center market. While not breakthrough technology, the Call Center Suite should help businesses better organize their customer contact infrastructure, she says."There are a lot of out-of-date call centers out there," she says. "They run a jumble of technologies that are not integrated well and kind of grew up in the call center organically."Wardley adds that deploying these types of call-center applications on servers instead of digital boards on ACDs should lower the cost of deploying and maintaining these applications.Avaya's Customer Interaction Suite is made up of several modules:\u2022\u00a0Interaction Center 6.1, which acts as the central nervous system for a call center, managing the flow of calls, e-mails and Web chat sessions coming into a contact center.\u2022\u00a0Business Advocate, a predictive routing application that matches incoming caller ID information with existing customer call data and then routes the data to the call to the most appropriate agent.\u2022\u00a0Interactive Response 1.2, a platform that lets call centers set up "self service" capabilities through IVR, with support for Voice XML.\u2022\u00a0Outbound Contact Management, which can manage outbound calling activities and includes new features for handling "do not call" lists.\u2022\u00a0Operational Analyst 6.1, a module that lets users monitor and produce reports on call-center activity, such as tracking average call length and call-flow patterns.Each of these modules can now run on an IBM AIX, Sun Solaris and Windows-based server platforms. Users can choose which modules they want to install and run them on one server or on separate servers in different locations. Avaya says this could let a business extend IVR to multiple call-center sites by extending the application over an IP WAN.The software will work with Avaya Definity ACDs, and TDM- and IP-based ACD hardware from Nortel and Aspect, two of Avaya's top competitors in the call-center market.