Vonage and Avaya

Rich Tehrani : Communications and Technology Blog - Tehrani.com
Rich Tehrani
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Vonage and Avaya

The old adage of eating  one’s dog food is what is referred to when a company uses its own products internally. This is exactly what I thought of when I saw the announcement from Avaya that Vonage will be using their IP contact center solutions that are based on SIP. Is there a more synergistic merging of a company’s business model and the technology they choose to deploy in their customer-facing applications? I don’t think so.

This is an amazing example of how Vonage will be able to take a giant leap forward in customer service. I still hear complaints about Vonage service but didn’t experience any problems with customer service while I was a customer. I did have major problems getting my local number portability issues resolved but the service up until that point was excellent.

Now that Vonage has IP enabled their agents, they can provide killer applications to their customers such as the ability to escalate a chat to a call, enable video during a call and more. Here is part of the release that the companies put out today:

Based on Avaya Customer Interaction Suite and powered by Avaya Communication Manager IP Telephony software, the main contact center will serve as a hub for other customer care centers as they open around the world. The integration of SIP into Avaya solutions heightens interoperability with other Vonage applications and networks. Additionally, new SIP-based capabilities in Avaya's Customer Interaction Suite can enable Vonage agents to establish buddy lists of fellow agents or experts located anywhere in the business who could be quickly tapped through presence and instant messaging while a customer is on the line.

Everyone tells me Vonage’s churn numbers are too high. As they are the trailblazer in VoIP, I am not sure how we can determine what the proper churn number should be. This purchase of Avaya equipment is by definition a big financial commitment to improved customer service by the company and may also signal that the rumored purchase of Vonage could be a long way off. Would you spend all this money on new equipment just before you are acquired? Probably not. I would expect the ROI of this acquisition to be a year or more. Perhaps there will be some M&A news then or the company will go public.

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