Voip & Unified Communications f Nick Campanella hMarch 12, 2018

Avaya Acquires Spoken Communications

Avaya is officially on board the customer experience bandwagon, announcing it has finalized its acquisition of Spoken Communications -- a top company in Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) solutions with a focus on customer experience built around conversational AI. This acquisition is huge because it improves not only goes in line with Avaya’s new cloud-based approach, but also shows the provider is putting the customer first. Cloud-based software is a significant trend, as we all know, in 2018 -- and Avaya is jumping on board. By delivering their services through the cloud, Avaya can offer users the flexibility for businesses to tailor the solutions in ways that cater to their specific needs. When combined with AI, which is expected to advance SaaS, CCaaS, CRM, and VoIP services significantly, Avaya is showing its customers they’re committed to offering the best possible technology that will put them in a position to be a leader again.

What Spoken Communications Brings

Spoken Communications offers a cloud-first contact center solution. However, their platform offers a simplified contact center, and requires users to piece together other solutions and third-party integrations, for full functionality. This ultimately makes it much harder to implement than standard cloud-based communications software. So how does this fit in to Avaya? Well, according to the Avaya themselves, “With over 170 patents and patent applications, Spoken’s intellectual property will supercharge Avaya’s move into Big Data, Machine Learning and AI, as well.” Many CCaaS providers are still behind and are only looking into how AI can transform their solutions. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing because the use of AI is still in its infancy; however, providers like Avaya who want to “supercharge” their way to the top are setting themselves up to dictate how CCaaS providers do business in 2018. Avaya also says:
“Spoken’s cloud-native, multitenant architecture is already fully integrated with Avaya customer experience technologies, providing a robust cloud architecture for Avaya’s omnichannel offerings. And because Avaya and Spoken have been working in a co-development partnership for more than a year, several flexible cloud solutions are market-ready today.”

Avaya is Pushing Into the Cloud

This makes the acquisition such a significant one for Avaya. Avaya customers can now take advantage of some of Spoken Communications’ unique platform features without a significant learning curve, without a big wait period, and without worrying about how to incorporate these powerful integrations seamlessly into their call center services. This acquisition will allow businesses to integrate Spoken’s features at a slower pace, which, in one way, will improve customer experience naturally. Businesses will not be thrown tons of features and integrations all at once. That could actually be a bad thing for SMBs who might need more time to adjust and learn how to incorporate AI-powered CCaaS solutions into their business strategy. Spoken Communications also brings with it “specialized agent quality software applications and services, and Spoken’s IntelligentWire contact center automation solutions.” Automations in CCaaS solutions will arguably benefit the most from AI because of predictive analytic capabilities that make it easier to personalize every customer experience at a rapid and consistent pace, constantly learning as it goes. So the more the automations are put into place, the better -- in theory -- they will become. Jim Chirico, President and CEO of Avaya, says:
“This acquisition is the latest example of how Avaya is now moving at cloud speed and investing for the future to provide our customers and partners with the innovative cloud solutions they need.”
This deal has to be more exciting for Avaya than they appear to be. Avaya is obviously recognizing that they’re improving their cloud-based solutions at an incredibly fast pace. Considering Avaya not too long ago was in significant trouble, Chirico’s words hold much more weight to those who’ve been following them from the time they filed for bankruptcy to today.

Our Take

We’re one of those who have followed Avaya through all their troubles, so we understand the significance of Avaya’s rapid rise to the top more than most. We first heard about the acquisition at Avaya Engage. Chirico uses the words “latest example” to describe the Spoken Communications acquisition. This implies -- correctly -- that there are other examples of Avaya’s most recent successes, which suggests they’re nowhere near close to done. Avaya is clearly confident in their cloud-based solutions. They’re also aware of the fact that the customer experience will continue to be the most prioritized business trend in 2018 and beyond. AI solutions are a powerful way to personalize every customer’s experience and Spoken Communications brings so many unique features to the table. By “investing in the future,” Avaya is not just looking to become one of the most talked about CCaaS solutions today, but for years to come. They’re making all the right moves to make them a leader again. We believe their past mistakes play a major role in their success today. Investing in the future is always a smart business move, especially in today’s trust economy, because doing so naturally puts the customer over the business first. As AI and cloud-based solutions become more normalized, we can expect to see Avaya’s name more as well.
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