Avaya and IBM Collaborate To Deliver New Speech-Enabled Self-Service Solutions
NEW YORK - Avaya and IBM announced they will jointly deliver speech-enabled self-service solutions that allow the deployment of customized speech applications throughout a business. The solutions "which are the result of an expanded alliance between the two companies "bring together IBM's position in business middleware and speech technology with Avaya's global contact centers.
The solutions will combine Avaya's Internet protocol-based contact center software for self-service with IBM's WebSphere® infrastructure software and speech technology, enabling enterprises to incorporate speech into a range of business processes such as account management, customer purchasing and inventory management. This allows a business customers and employees to use speech to interact with automated services that link together contact centers, IP networks and back-end infrastructures resulting in improved operational efficiencies, customer satisfaction, and employee productivity.
The first phase of the alliance brings together Avaya's contact center software for self-service Avaya Interactive Response with IBM WebSphere Voice Server 5.1. This provides businesses with a single integrated platform driving the development of a new generation of customized speech applications. Avaya Interactive Response incorporates open standards such as VoiceXML (VXML), which allows Internet tools for speech application development, and Media Resource Control Protocol (MRCP), which facilitates integration of speech recognition and text-to-speech. New features in IBM WebSphere Voice Server include WebSphere Application Server for common administration, installation, deployment and logging throughout the enterprise, as well as support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux WS/ES/AS for Intel 3.0 and SuSE SLES 8.0.
Avaya will also support IBM's Reusable Dialog Components initiative, a move, with partners, to open-source a Java-based framework of pre-built application components for building speech applications (announced separately today by IBM). By offering software components using standards and programming models that Java developers are familiar with, the initiative will open up speech development and speed integration into the mainstream business infrastructure. Avaya's speech development environment Avaya Speech Application Builder will integrate with these Reusable Dialog Components.
This builds on an existing alliance between Avaya and IBM, which includes:
- Contact Centers: The companies have a global strategic alliance to integrate Avaya's contact center solutions with IBM WebSphere middleware, data management, Lotus collaboration tools and eServer technology.
- Global Services: IBM Global Services and Avaya Global Services combine expertise and systems to deliver voice services solutions on multi-vendor platforms.
- Converged Platforms: Avaya Communication Manager software running on media servers, and Converged Communication servers support IP and SIP capabilities on IBM's eServer platforms. Avaya Communication Manager is interoperable with IBM Tivoli systems management platforms.
- Messaging and Unified Communications: The Avaya Unified Communications Center and Modular Messaging solutions are integrated with Lotus Domino®.
Global availability of the joint Avaya and IBM solutions is planned for the fourth calendar quarter of 2004 with initial language support for US English, UK English, Chinese, and Japanese. Avaya and IBM will demonstrate the new solutions at the SpeechTEK Exposition and Conference, a leading business event on speech technology, in New York City, September 13-16.
To see the demonstration at SpeechTek, visit the Avaya booth (#101) or IBM booth (#616).