Is it just me, or is there something strange/weird about Vonage partnering with Avaya? Here you have Vonage, a cool technology trendsetter in broadband telephony that has helped changed the telecom landscape forever partnering with Avaya, a "traditional" PBX manufacturer. According to the release pasted below, Vonage is using Avaya's IP telephony contact center solution for their customer service call center. Nothing against Avaya, but I would have expected Vonage to go with something "cool and hip" like an open source Linux-based Asterisk PBX solution. I believe much of Vonage's infrastructure if Linux-based so it would make sense to choose an Asterisk solution. Of course, Asterisk is probably not as mature as Avaya when it comes to advanced call center functionality. Although, Fonality, which I just blogged yesterday adds some additional advanced call center functionality to the Asterisk platform. Well, strange bedfellows if you ask me. No offense Avaya - really.
Vonage Customer Service Doubles Call Capacity and Handling with Avaya IP Telephony Contact Center Solutions
New Avaya SIP-based Solution Selected as Worldwide Customer Care Platform for North America's Leading Consumer Broadband Telephony Service Provider
BASKING RIDGE, N.J., US - Today, Vonage, the leading broadband telephony provider in North America, announced its sales and service subsidiary, Vonage America, has chosen Avaya's SIP-based telephony and contact center solutions to quickly expand its call center capacity and productivity. To meet its goal to provide best in class customer service, Vonage turned to Avaya Inc. (NYSE:AV), a leading global provider of business communications applications, services and systems, to expand its customer service capabilities and greatly increase the number of callers the company handles daily.
As the market for broadband telephony becomes increasingly competitive, an emphasis on customer satisfaction will help give Vonage the edge to continue its growth.
"Our vision is to provide world-class customer service," said Dan Bemis, senior vice president of Customer Operations of Vonage America Inc. "To do that, we needed to make a number of changes - starting with an intelligent communications solution that would help us maximize the customer experience."
Building from the company's existing call center, Vonage and Avaya Global Services collaborated on a design that would expand capacity and enable it to serve as the core platform for its worldwide customer service operations. Essential elements of the technology strategy included a SIP-based platform that could tightly integrate with Vonage's own SIP-based, IP phone service and existing network. SIP is an emerging protocol that enables seamless interoperability among various media, including audio, video, instant messaging and presence. Vonage also needed a stable, highly reliable and available business communications platform to perform well during peak call times. The Avaya solution offers Vonage the flexibility to scale to global proportions and to seamlessly hand off calls to other centers when volumes hit critical mass.
"We see a dynamically scalable customer care organization that enables us to leverage resources from any location, whenever and wherever they're most needed," said Bemis. "With Avaya's real-time, right-time communications approach, we will be able to 'think globally and act locally' from a customer service perspective."
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.
"It was important to us that Avaya's portfolio of business communications applications supported standards like SIP - the technology core of Vonage's service offering - that will easily integrate with other business applications and which create value on top of the network," said Bemis.
For Vonage, the contact center upgrade has simultaneously improved customer satisfaction and agent productivity. "Since implementing the new solutions, we handle more calls, wait times are significantly down and agent productivity is up," said Bemis.
Avaya partnered with Witness Systems, an Avaya DeveloperConnection member, to help ensure Vonage had all the solutions it needed to meet - and exceed - its customer service goals. Vonage invested in contact center workforce management solutions, which can help it forecast, schedule and plan around future call volumes and staffing needs to enhance service and more strategically deploy its workforce.
Avaya Customer Interaction Suite is a key component of Avaya MultiVantage(TM) Communications Applications, a suite of business communications applications that includes IP telephony, contact center, messaging, conferencing and speech access solutions and is based on open standards, industry-leading reliability and security. Avaya Global Services provided professional consultative, design, implementation, managed, monitoring and maintenance services.
Avaya DeveloperConnection is Avaya's independent software developer program which promotes the development, compliance testing and co-marketing of innovative third-party applications that interoperate with standards-based Avaya solutions. Member organizations have expertise in a broad range of technologies-including IP telephony, contact centers and mobility applications-and have created hundreds of innovative solutions tested for Avaya compliance.