Avaya Updates Self-Service Software

Avaya debuts new versions of its self-service software. The new enhancements make it easier and more cost-effective to improve customer service with speech automation, and provide a foundation for using self-service to create faster, more productive business processes.

The new products include Avaya Voice Portal 4.0, the company's flagship self-service software, and Interactive Response 3.0, one of the industry's most widely-deployed self-service platforms. Also unveiled is the new version of Avaya Dialog Designer 4.0, a tool for developing next-generation speech self-service applications.

Self-service applications give businesses an automated approach to customer service, enabling customers to have greater control over interactions. By speech-enabling self service, people can use spoken commands via phone to relay information to automated systems and complete transactions. Avaya Voice Portal uses Session Initiation Protocol and Web service technologies to let businesses integrate speech self-service into customer service and business processes.

The new version of Avaya Voice Portal features expanded support for the latest Internet standards, including CCXML, programmable Web Services and VoiceXML 2.1. This creates an open, multi-vendor environment that speeds and simplifies the integration of speech self-service, while reducing its cost of deployment. Avaya Voice Portal and Dialog Designer also feature new Web Services offering a faster, more cost-effective way to use speech in outbound calling applications. 'Outcall' capabilities are important to businesses such as law firms or hospitals, which can use Avaya's solution to more efficiently integrate speech into an existing appointment scheduling application, and have it automatically call clients to ask them to confirm appointments using speech.

Avaya Voice Portal also delivers scalability enhancements with a four-fold increase in the amount of simultaneous self service transactions that can be supported per system. This reduces total cost of ownership for operating self-service, and helps companies more efficiently manage self-service applications across an entire global enterprise. Also, direct integration to SIP trunk lines helps businesses further lower network costs while providing a foundation for SIP presence in multi-media applications, such as video-based self-service.

Avaya Voice Portal has been designed to work with Communications Enabled Business Processes (CEBP) processes that automate the human collaboration required to conduct business. Voice Portal's enhancements will simplify the integration of speech self-service within CEBP, helping to improve the automation of processes such as supply chains. For instance, Voice Portal can help notify purchasing agents when supplies run low, and ask them to answer automated questions or provide a status using speech.

In addition to Avaya Voice Portal 4.0, Avaya introduces these new self-service products and tools. These products are now available globally:
Avaya Interactive Response 3.0is a TDM and IP-based speech self service application that offers businesses the ability to evolve their proven self-service architecture to take advantage of the latest Web and speech technologies, including VoiceXML 2.1, the industry standard language used to develop speech self-service applications. As a result, capabilities developed for Avaya Interactive Response are easily ported to the Avaya Voice Portal when a business is ready to evolve to IP telephony.

Avaya Dialog Designer4.0 is an Eclipse-based application development tool that complements Avaya Voice Portal and Avaya Interactive Response by allowing businesses to accelerate development of speech self-service in traditional telephony and Web services environments. This new release adds support for interacting with SIP signaling and the latest Nuance 9.0 speech technologies. IBM speech technologies are also supported. Dialog Designer now supports industry-standard call control extensible markup language (CCXML) and enhances computer telephony integration and contact center capabilities through advanced scaling and failover features.

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