Personalizing Customer Experiences: A Key Theme at Avaya ENGAGE

Listening to guests and providing them with communication options helps Wynn Resorts personalize the customer experience, according to Jason Stump, CIO. “We just launched a digital key and are looking at how best to deploy AI tools,” he told attendees at Avaya ENGAGE 2023 in Orlando. “We also push our CX data to our support staff for insights into creating phenomenal interactions.”

Sherrie Mullikin, director business strategy and initiatives, Southwest Airlines, and Rick Belsky, VP of global networks, Liberty Mutual Insurance, also discussed their innovative approaches to enhancing contact center tools and supporting their agents in the conference’s opening general session.

“It’s all about customer experience,” said Avaya CEO Alan Masarek at the opening general session.  “Brands need to differentiate themselves based on CX, rather than the traditional aspects of product, price and availability. You want the consumer to feel good about your organization at a personal level. We want you to choose Avaya on your journey to maximize that customer experience.”

Since joining Avaya 10 months ago, Masarek said he’s enjoying the challenge of transforming the organization financially and operationally. “My passion is business restructuring and revitalizing culture, and I feel a renewed sense of enthusiasm across the board,” he added. 

With 90,000 customers in 170 countries, Avaya has the largest installed base in the contact center (CC) and unified communications (UC) markets, along with a growing intellectual property portfolio said Masarek. “These are great assets, so if we play this poker hand better, we can be super successful.”

Moving to the cloud

Throughout ENGAGE, Avaya executives discussed customizing the journey to the cloud. “We know that most organizations are going to the cloud, but not at the same rate,” said Masarek. “At the same time, organizations are not walking away from their on-prem infrastructure, particularly those in sensitive and highly regulated sectors.”

With the ability to offer on-prem, full-cloud or hybrid solutions, Avaya is ideally positioned to help enterprises take advantage of innovative services while avoiding disruption to their ongoing operations, Masarek added. “You might want to move some aspects to the cloud, such as adding a new digital CX channels or a feature set,” he said. “Whatever your goals, you choose your journey  and we can accommodate it.”

Showcasing innovative customers

At the Monday afternoon general session, four Avaya product and service leaders showed how the cloud and AI tools are empowering leading-edge customers  “In thinking about AI and automation, our goal is to make interactions more efficient, interactive and delightful to your customers and employees,” said Tim Sherwood, global vice president, product management. Todd Zerbe, SVP engineering, added that Avaya has the tools to help with that CX journey.

In the session, Ahmed Helmy, global vice president, Avaya Experience Platform, talked with Nigel Mansfield, contact center lead, Bayview Technologies, about how the flexibility of Avaya’s cloud platform can make it easier to deliver new capabilities. “We collect customer data using machine learning techniques,” Mansfield said. “That’s allowed us to introduce 300 new initiatives so customers don’t need to contact us again about the same issue.”

Emir Susic, global vice president, Avaya Customer Experience Services discussed the journey to cloud and the potential of AI with Joseph Wagner, senior director, technical operations, University of Iowa Health Care. “Two years ago, we decided on Avaya cloud to provide a single platform for accessing our services,” Wagner said. “It’s been our biggest IT project as it will touch everyone in our organization.”

Building partnerships

Sharing the stage with Avaya executives were representatives from world-class companies like Microsoft and Google, “We are seeing massive investments in the cloud, and it’s exciting to see AI technology unlock insights from customer data in real time,” she said. “The combination of Azure and Avaya is pretty powerful, and when Azure is integrated with Teams, it’s even better.”

Raluca Monet, global strategic partnership lead, Google Chrome OS group, told attendees that generative AI can create dynamic and responsive options to different scenarios, since no two customer interactions will be the same.  “AI has profound implications for contact center,” she said. “Some of the mind-numbing tasks will move away from agents, so they can focus more on human engagement.”

In the closing session, Drew Lydecker, president and co-founder Avant, said CX is the most exciting technology in the company’s advisory portfolio.  “CX is driving a change from transactions to relationships, making things more personal,” he said.

A guiding voice

Masarek wrapped up the conference – which attracted in-person and virtual attendees from more than 90 countries – by saying, “I hope we all learned something, created new connections, had fun and touched that sixth sense of wonder.”

Reflecting on the importance of IAUG to Avaya, Nadal Abou-Ltaif , SVP and global head of sales, said, “You are our driving force. Your voice has helped guide us to the future and transform our solutions to meet your requirements.”

This months blog series is brought to you by iNEMSOFT. INEMSOFT is a software development company specializing in unified communications, enterprise applications and mission-critical solutions.
IAUG offers Avaya support, education, and community. Interested in contributing to a blog? Learn more here.

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