EC18 News Roundup: Covering the Gamut of Communications

Enterprise Connect 2018 is officially behind us, a week jam-packed with product news delivered from a host of the 190+ exhibitors on the show floor.

While some of the industry's heavy hitters shared their messages from the main stage (like Microsoft's updates to its Teams ecosystem and 8x8's blended UC and contact center offering), plenty of other announcements warrant attention, too. Because, as EC18 GM Eric Krapf wrote on No Jitter last week, "there's not much in our industry today that can't be considered a hot technology." With that in mind, here's a roundup of some of the news coming out of EC18.

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Contact Center News

The contact center segment continues to be a hotbed of innovation. In addition to 8x8's UC-contact center portfolio mentioned above, EC18 brought to light several other category-breaking moves: Twilio's launch of Flex contact center as a service and Avaya's Mobile Experience solution. Oh, but those are just the tip of the iceberg!

Avaya IDaaS

Avaya also announced it's partnering with Post-Quantum, an identity and cyber security specialist, to develop an identity-as-a-service (IDaaS) offering aimed at improving data security in contact centers, where fraudulent account access attempts can be a problem. IDaaS incorporates biometrics for authenticating mobile callers, leveraging blockchain to enable contact centers to authenticate a customer's identity and data as well as to record interactions for improved transparency and auditability, Avaya said.

Initially, IDaaS will be used for identification and authentication for Avaya Mobile Experience, with availability as a standalone service to follow.

"We now have the ability to take verified identities and bind them to the actions they conduct," said Laurent Philonenko, SVP and GM of Solutions and Technology at Avaya, in a prepared statement (watch Philonenko's Industry Vision Address here.)

Talkdesk Goes After the Enterprise

Last year, call center software provider Talkdesk told me it was going after the enterprise by way of its partner ecosystem and its AppConnect enterprise app store. Well it looks like the traditionally SMB-focused provider has made some progress in those efforts; the company announced its Enterprise Contact Center Platform, a cloud-native, microservices-based solution aimed at contact centers with 500 or more agents. The platform includes a visual flow designer, attribute-based routing, omnichannel agent state, and integrations to popular enterprise applications. It also has SOC 2 Type II certification and security support for HIPAA, PCI-DSS, and upcoming GDPR regulations, Talkdesk said.

Enterprises including Acxiom, Keysight Technologies' Ixia Solutions Group, and Zumiez have already deployed the platform.

Additionally, Talkdesk announced partnerships with Afiniti, which applies artificial intelligence (AI) to contact center interactions, and ClearView, which offers a workforce optimization solution.

Genesys Makes Strategic Moves

In the weeks leading up to EC18, Genesys announced it would be acquiring customer journey analytics provider Altocloud. Then during the event, the company introduced an AppFoundry marketplace that includes integrations for its full portfolio, including PureEngage, PureConnect, and PureCloud platforms. AppFoundry today contains more than 200 apps, integrations, and services; leading partners include Amazon Web Services, ConvergeOne, Plantronics, and Vidyo, Genesys said.

Additionally, Genesys announced the integration of its omnichannel routing engine with Salesforce Service Cloud Lightning. This allows joint customers to more easily share data from the two platforms for improved management and automation of customer journeys across phone, email, Web chat, and text channels.

What's New with NewVoiceMedia?

At EC18, NewVoiceMedia unveiled its Spring '18 release, marking the launch of an omnichannel solution that's fully integrated with Salesforce digital channels. Additionally, NewVoiceMedia has integrated its speech analytics solution, called Conversation Analyzer, with Salesforce Einstein Analytics. Now with built-in Einstein dashboards, enterprises can use Conversation Analyzer to transcribe calls and glean insights to help improve customer experience.

Symbee & Amazon

Customer engagement solution provider Symbee, long focused on delivering integration software for Avaya platforms, introduced Symbee Connect Suite of Solutions for Amazon Connect, a browser-based agent solution for PCs and mobile devices. It offers consumption-based pricing to align with AWS's model for Connect.

One element of the suite, Symbee Connect Fusion, integrates Salesforce Lightning and other CRM solutions with Amazon Connect, while Symbee Connect Engagement is for driving digital interactions in the contact center.

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