Avaya Expands Its Partnership with Plantronics

Avaya and Plantronics have started a co-development initiative to simplify communications in contact center and unified communications environments. The first initiative under this expanded relationship is focused on ensuring compatibility and tight integration between Plantronics headsets and Avaya’s Chrome-based contact center apps, including Avaya Agent for Chrome and Customer Engagement OnAvaya-Google Cloud Platform.

With this combination, contact center agents will be able to engage with customers seamlessly between voice and non-voice channels, including chat, email, and text messaging.

Davide Pacchini, senior director and head of global alliances at Avaya, says the partnership "is structured on the premise of making the combined solutions more tightly integrated and to provide a seamless experience for our customers. Our belief is that users should have a simplistic, plug-and-play experience when connecting their headset with their Avaya solution."

Headsets, he adds, "by nature are a wearable technology which will allow for Avaya to capture many new forms of data and analytics that can be leveraged to create actions for the user, agent, supervisor, and/or administrator of the Avaya solution."

Mark Monday, vice president and general manager of team engagement solutions at Avaya, says simplicity and ease of use are the top requirements from his company's customers.

Through this partnership, Avaya and Plantronics are integrating multichannel collaboration capabilities with business processes and applications for a better customer engagement experience, he says.

"Both Avaya and Plantronics share a common vision to provide an improved communication experience on joint solutions, which we believe delivers value to our customers," said Joe Burton, executive vice president and chief commercial officer at Plantronics, in a statement. "The co-developed solutions will help streamline access to multichannel communications, making it a more natural, intuitive experience for people who may or may not spend their days at a desk. Our long partnership, which marries the best capabilities of both companies, will give Avaya customers solutions with unique and differentiating features to help them work more effectively and efficiently."

For Avaya and Plantronics, this latest announcement is an extension of a long-standing partnership that spans several decades. The two companies have a deep level of technology integrations, and, most recently, they teamed up for the release of a transfer snap-in as part of the Avaya Engagement Assistant, which enables people using Plantronic' sensor-enabled Voyager Legend UC headsets to seamlessly transition from mobile calls to video-enabled Avaya Scopia desktop sessions without losing audio. The solution leverages Plantronics' proximity APIs with the Avaya Engagement Development Platform.

Nancy Jamison, principal analyst in the customer contact center group at Frost & Sullivan, expects this latest partnership to "go a long way in moving the needle on customer engagement."

Avaya and Plantronics, she adds, have been working side-by-side "diligently" to align their endpoint businesses and software solutions to make it easier for agents to positively engage with customers.

Pacchini says ultimately the relationship between Avaya and Plantronics "will allow our customers to better serve their customers and lead to better business outcomes."

That's good news to some of the two companies' mutual clients. "As an early adopter of Customer Engagement OnAvaya-Google Cloud Platform, we see this collaboration between Avaya and Plantronics as a win for Summertime Potato Company," said Susan DeFazio, the company's director of business processes, in a statement. "Our business is all about personal relationships, and in a small business such as ours, our team members wear various hats. Moving to a cloud environment will give us the flexibility to multitask while interacting with our customers and suppliers, and the tighter integration of our contact center solution and headsets means less potential downtime and support issues."

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At the Enterprise Connect conference earlier this week, Avaya introduced Zang, a cloud communications platform that supports application development, embeds capabilities from outside solutions such as Salesforce.com, and offers a turnkey application called Zang Spaces.

Posted March 11, 2016