The International Avaya User Group (IAUG) is holding its annual summit this week in Orlando around the theme, "Experience is Everything," and one can easily imagine the reasons for the selection. In his recent No Jitter post, "Avaya Considers Asset Sale," UC analyst Dave Michels detailed the financial woes that have led Avaya's owners to retain Goldman Sachs to explore asset sales and CenterView Partners to evaluate its capital structure. And yet, Avaya remains a contact center market leader, measured by market share, size of the embedded base, and designation in industry analyst reports.
Avaya remains the contact center provider for thousands of companies worldwide. But for several years, many have felt the company has not provided a clear roadmap for how it will turn the myriad of contact center point products in its portfolio into a coherent solution. Oceana is Avaya's latest attempt to do so.
Avaya Breeze -- the company's development environment -- is the core enabler of Oceana. This means Avaya Snap-ins are the building blocks of this new Avaya contact center solution. For example, contact centers could use the Avaya Engagement Designer Snap-in to orchestrate a solution using a series of other Snap-ins. And they could use the Work Assignment Snap-in to distribute interactions to the correct resource, be that a self-service resource or a live agent. Avaya will also offer an email Snap-in, one for chat, and another for co-browsing. You get the idea.
So from where do the Snap-ins come? Some are built by re-factoring of existing Avaya solutions.
Similar to the work done by Interactive Intelligence to create PureCloud and Aspect to build Via, Oceana is not a completely new solution as much as a re-built version of existing solutions with new, common elements. The new Avaya Oceana common elements include Oceanalytics, for reporting and analytics of the various Snap-in events, and Oceana Workspaces, a newly designed client built on a common Avaya Breeze client SDK. Other common elements are Snap-ins that Avaya has already been delivering with Breeze, such as Work Assignment and Context Store.
Avaya is delivering the initial phase of the Oceana project with Oceanalytics and Collector Snap-ins for Avaya Elite, Experience Portal and Avaya Aura Contact Center and Proactive Contact, the company said. Translation: The first step is to create a single repository for all contact center-related data streams for analysis, reporting, and delivery of a unified picture of contact center activity.
With the Collector Snap-ins itemized above, contact centers will be able to get unified reports on inbound voice calls (Elite), voice, email and Web interactions (AACC), IVR (Experience Portal) and predictive outbound (Proactive Contact). As Avaya has many more contact center solutions -- Elite Multichannel, workforce optimization, social media, and mobile video to name just a few -- it will be releasing additional Collectors over the next year or so.
The word "cloud" is glaringly missing from the Oceana announcement. Unlike its competitors Interactive and Aspect, Avaya is not reworking and rewriting its existing assets as "cloud-first." Oceana will initially be a customer premises or private cloud solution. Over time one might expect to see Oceana available on Avaya Zang, the company's communications platform as a service, said Karen Hardy, senior director for customer engagement at Avaya. However, Avaya certainly did not discuss a timeframe.
Net-net, today's announcement is a plan more than a solution. Avaya is feverishly working to build the components and Snap-ins upon which Oceana is built. Early trials, due in third-quarter 2016 will be of limited capability. General availability, expected in 4Q2016, will be of a subset of the full functionality shown in the graphic.
Avaya is hoping that the Oceana announcement and roadmap will give existing customers a reason to stay with the company as it builds out the full solution. For some of the huge Avaya contact centers, with tens of thousands of agents, change is always slow. This early view of Oceana, Oceanalytics, and Workspaces may be enough to keep them loyal to Avaya.
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