VOICECON - Avaya CEO: Bring unified communications to the masses

Avaya CEO discusses UC "for the masses" and Avaya's relationship with Microsoft, IBM

Unified Communications needs to be brought to the masses, and in the process that can help solve the country's current economic woes, VoiceCon Orlando 2008 attendees were told Tuesday.

"Now is the time to harness that to get us out of this slump," said Avaya CEO Lou D'Ambrosio, who delivered the show's keynote address.

Unified communication can add efficiency, productivity and improved customer service that will make businesses perform better and therefore improve the economy, he said.

To further that end, the company Tuesday announced a set of service and product bundles that address needs of different classes of workers. Managing the components of these bundles is key and something Avaya has addressed, he said.

"It's the closest thing to plug-and-play that's out there," he said. It is key for the integration to be done for customers, "otherwise there's too many pieces parts to deal with."

D'Ambrosio touted Avaya cooperation with IBM, Microsoft and Cisco as key to this integration, supporting their UC and conferencing software in the case of Microsoft and IBM, and the infrastructure in the case of Cisco.

He outlined Avaya customers who use Avaya bundles to give better customer service in stores by linking call boxes with knowledgeable store employees to answer questions as well as contact center and video gear to bring translation services faster to patient exam rooms in hospitals.

The company is also developing a Second Life application in which customers can go to a Second Life demonstration area to get instructions on how to set up home electronics.

D'Ambrosio said IT and telecom executives have the skills to implement these technologies that will improve their businesses and turn around the economy. "Do you think CEOs know how to do that?" he asked. "Five years from now people will say it is this group that enabled us to get out of this economic funk. It will allow you to be heroes."

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