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Avaya claims its Call Center services power a significant share of big call centers.

Among customer call centers with more than 400 agents, it estimates a 63 percent market share. Among call centers with more than 1,000 agents, it estimates a 70 percent share.

So what’s Avaya thinking right now? How does it capture that elusive market segment of call centers with 10 to 250 agents?

Today, the company spun off from Lucent Technologies and Bell Labs in 2000 announced an expanded partnership with Google.

The goal is to target a market segment that Avaya calls “green pastures.”  

That partnership creates a curious technology arrangement where Chromebooks — the class of PC created by Google to run essentially anything that can be run on the web — will become the exclusive device for running the company’s latest OnAvaya cloud-based call center.

You Have to Have Something

“In this space, they’re going to have to acquire something — these are new installations for us. That something, in this particular solution, happens to be a Chromebook device,” said Joe Manuele, Avaya’s senior vice president for global cloud services, speaking with CMSWire.

He’s talking about small and mid-size businesses (SMBs) that are acquiring not just call center services for the first time, but the hardware on which they run as well.

While thin clients are one option, Avaya's and Google’s joint sales partners will be pitching Chromebooks as an alternative hardware platform.

Chromebooks had been inexpensive alternatives to Windows-based notebooks, largely because their operating system is a slim, trim Linux geared to run the Chrome browser.

Today's announcement is a clear indicator that Google is willing to explore giving Chromebooks exclusive advantages — even artificial ones — if it makes them more competitive with customers making volume purchases.

OnAvaya’s videoconferencing features will be supplied using WebRTC technology, which the W3C consortium recently finalized as a standard for all modern browsers. Firefox and Internet Explorer currently support WebRTC, as well as Google Chrome.

Still, said Manuele, OnAvaya for now will be limited to Chromebooks, though it may expand to Google Chrome browsers on other devices in the future.

One Way for Omnichannel

Avaya hopes that SMB customers will perceive their larger competitors’ move toward omnichannel marketing as a signal that they need to make the same move themselves.

This spring, Avaya’s sales partners including Onix Networking will begin marketing a kind of out-of-the-box solution featuring a Chromebook (through a manufacturer of their choice), pre-loaded with Avaya Agent for Chrome software plus Google Apps, and custom-fitted with a Plantronics headset.

“The simplicity, not just from an administrator’s perspective but also an operator’s, was key in designing this offer,” said Manuele. “We wanted to make it appealing enough that it has some of the product features of a larger contact center solution, but also it actually has to be easier to use so that it can scale for this market.”

A large mobile carrier can handle as many as 5 million transactions per day through its Avaya Call Center services, said Manuele.

But some 87 percent of those high-volume customers have self-provisioning options. He cautioned that the high side of the SMB market, all of whom will be self-provisioning, may not have to scale down its traffic expectations as much as one might initially expect.

But he added an assurance that Google’s cloud infrastructure, upon which this version of OnAvaya will be based, should be quite sufficient to support these transactions.

“It’s the quality of the interaction that we’re focusing on, as opposed to the quantity,” said Manuele, “and we’re confident we can handle large volumes of interactions.”

It’s an end-to-end solution for Avaya, all right, although you can’t help but notice Google has a big stake in both ends.

You Have to Have Something

“In this space, they’re going to have to acquire something — these are new installations for us. That something, in this particular solution, happens to be a Chromebook device,” said Joe Manuele, Avaya’s senior vice president for global cloud services, speaking with CMSWire.

He’s talking about small and mid-size businesses (SMBs) that are acquiring not just call center services for the first time, but the hardware on which they run as well.

While thin clients are one option, Avaya's and Google’s joint sales partners will be pitching Chromebooks as an alternative hardware platform.

Chromebooks had been inexpensive alternatives to Windows-based notebooks, largely because their operating system is a slim, trim Linux geared to run the Chrome browser.

Today's announcement is a clear indicator that Google is willing to explore giving Chromebooks exclusive advantages — even artificial ones — if it makes them more competitive with customers making volume purchases.

OnAvaya’s videoconferencing features will be supplied using WebRTC technology, which the W3C consortium recently finalized as a standard for all modern browsers. Firefox and Internet Explorer currently support WebRTC, as well as Google Chrome.

Still, said Manuele, OnAvaya for now will be limited to Chromebooks, though it may expand to Google Chrome browsers on other devices in the future.

One Way for Omnichannel

Avaya hopes that SMB customers will perceive their larger competitors’ move toward omnichannel marketing as a signal that they need to make the same move themselves.

This spring, Avaya’s sales partners including Onix Networking will begin marketing a kind of out-of-the-box solution featuring a Chromebook (through a manufacturer of their choice), pre-loaded with Avaya Agent for Chrome software plus Google Apps, and custom-fitted with a Plantronics headset.

“The simplicity, not just from an administrator’s perspective but also an operator’s, was key in designing this offer,” said Manuele. “We wanted to make it appealing enough that it has some of the product features of a larger contact center solution, but also it actually has to be easier to use so that it can scale for this market.”

A large mobile carrier can handle as many as 5 million transactions per day through its Avaya Call Center services, said Manuele.

But some 87 percent of those high-volume customers have self-provisioning options. He cautioned that the high side of the SMB market, all of whom will be self-provisioning, may not have to scale down its traffic expectations as much as one might initially expect.

But he added an assurance that Google’s cloud infrastructure, upon which this version of OnAvaya will be based, should be quite sufficient to support these transactions.

“It’s the quality of the interaction that we’re focusing on, as opposed to the quantity,” said Manuele, “and we’re confident we can handle large volumes of interactions.”

It’s an end-to-end solution for Avaya, all right, although you can’t help but notice Google has a big stake in both ends.

Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License Title image by Mikol.