Avaya Launches IP Office Contact Center for SMBs

By Pedro Hernandez | Posted January 30, 2014

IP telephony specialist Avaya is taking aim at small business call centers.

To help SMB support organizations (skewing closer toward the midsized companies) deliver better customer service, Avaya has launched a new product, called IP Office Contact Center, which offers many of the capabilities of the company's enterprise-grade customer experience management platform.

IP Office Contact Center supports from five to 100 agents and provisions businesses with multichannel communications (voice, email and chat), which allows them to provide their customers with support and issue-resolution services. And increasingly, it pays to engage consumers with their platforms of choice.

It's About Good Customer Service

Backed by its own survey data, the company asserts that customers demand "a low-effort, effective service experience through any channel they wish to use." In short, don't expect every customer to pick up the phone and don't disappoint them.

More than 80 percent of respondents "are likely to continue doing business with a company that provides a good customer experience," said Avaya. Bad experiences also resonate strongly. Most consumers (66 percent) said they would stop spending money with a company that subjected them to a poor customer service experience.

According to the company, it drew from its history with big call center operations to tailor the product to midsized operations, in particular. IP Office Contact Center, according to Avaya, was informed by the "expertise gained through 50,000 contact center deployments covering more than six million agents," according to a company statement.

Mark Monday, vice president of product management for Avaya's collaboration platforms, told Small Business Computing, "Small and midsize companies have not had the advantage that large enterprises have experienced from robust, feature-rich call center solutions, because price points and complexity have limited smaller deployments."  Now SMBs can experience some of the advanced features once reserved for well-moneyed big businesses.

"The IP Office Contact Center immediately changes that old paradigm. It adds rich multichannel call center functionality at an effective price point to a customer experience solution with even just a few agents," said Monday.

A support workflow-optimized interface provides agents with quick access to customer information. The platform also offers each customer service agent a call recording feature and flexible reporting.

On the IT front, small business can deploy Avaya IP Office Contact Center on a dedicated server or within a virtualized environment. Further, the company claims that compared to competitive offerings, the product can be set up in mere hours and with fewer steps.

For Craig Allan, COO of Mountain West Telecom, the solution brings together features that his customers clamor for. "Traditional 'call center' solutions can't support the demand for multichannel contact options, such as email and Web chat," he noted.

"Avaya IP Office Contact Center lets us offer new and existing IP Office customers a comprehensive feature set at an affordable price." said Allan. "With just a few part numbers it is simple to configure and installs quickly and easily," allowing his firm's customers to serve their customers "faster, efficiently and affordably."

Avaya IP Office Contact Center is available now in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, and India. Prices start at $2,255 for a base system.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Small Business Computing. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

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