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Avaya Rebrands Professional Services Division To Reflect Experience Focus

Gina Narcisi

‘Think of us as your cloud migration sherpa,’ Avaya’s CEO Alan Masarek says of the revamped Avaya Customer Experience Services (ACES) team.

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Avaya has unveiled a revamped professional services division to help customize an enterprise cloud experience, according to the company’s executives.

Avaya Customer Experience Services (ACES) team, formerly known as Avaya Professional Services, takes a new approach to professional services by integrating AI, cloud, and digital technologies into the cloud migration process, the company said.

Cloud isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition for the biggest enterprises and government agencies — far from it, Avaya’s CEO Alan Masarek told CRN.

“These can be enormous deployments and there’s always a level of customization required, so we very purposefully rebranded Avaya Customer Experience Services because we are there to help you with that migration,” he said. “Think of us as your cloud migration sherpa.”

Alongside ACES, the UC giant at Avaya ENGAGE 2023 also updated partners and end customers on investments and new integrations for its flagship Avaya Experience Platform (AXP).

[Related: Revamped Avaya Roadmap Orbits Around Cloud, Experience Platform ]

The ACES team works with customers where they are in their cloud migration so they can “innovate without disruption.” ACES offers a globally available team armed with a portfolio of AI, cloud, and digital services, according to Durham, N.C.-based Avaya.

The ACES team can sit side by side with Avaya partners to raise the integrated cloud communications experience to an entirely new level, said John Lindsley, Avaya’s vice president of North America and channel sales.

“I look at the ACES organization as a tool, as a resource, as a true team that can really enhance and elevate what the partners could do on their own,” Lindsley said.

The company didn’t change the name of Avaya’s professional services arm simply to rebrand, but rather to reflect its focus on experience, said Nidal Abou-Ltaif, senior vice president, global sales and president of Avaya International.

“The names ACES came from the migration plan we built — the steps we will take. Are we going to shift and lift? Or are we going to prepare, retain and modernize? That is what our ACES team can deliver,” he said.

Avaya does about 70 percent of its business today through the channel, according to the company. Avaya is focusing its investment and attention on partners that are on the cloud journey with the UC giant and the ACES team won’t work without the help of partners, Abou-Ltaif said.

“This is why when we are recruiting partners, we want partners that understand cloud and understand APIs, because the money for partners won’t come from selling seats, it’s from innovating on top of the seat,” he said.

Bloomington, Minn.-based solution provider ConvergeOne is one such Avaya partner that innovates on top of Avaya’s platform. The firm offers its ConvergeOne Cloud Experience (C1CX) collaboration and customer experience offering that gives end users access to Avaya services while creating their own, unique collaboration experience, said Kathy Sobus, senior director of go-to-market strategy for ConvergeOne, an Avaya partner.

“This holistic experience also ties together other elements in the contact center as well, like workforce engagement management, all the way through to the analytics capabilities that are available on multiple platforms. And tying back into CRM systems, too,” Sobus said.

Avaya Experience Platform Updates

The company’s so-called “North Star” — the Avaya Experience Platform (AXP) is a contact center-as-a-service (CCaaS) and collaboration platform that’s designed to allow enterprises to keep their on-premises infrastructure for communications such as voice routing and call handling, while shifting to cloud-based omnichannel features and digital channels from the Avaya cloud, such as email, chat and social.

“AXP has really been front and center for us because of the rapid maturity of that platform,” Lindsley said.

In additional to channel relationships, technology partners will continue to be a critical way for Avaya to go to market, executives said. AXP now integrates with Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Teams so that customer records are presented within the Avaya desktop. AXP customers can also use their CRM desktop application for contact handling.

Customers can purchase the AXP digital bundle through the Microsoft Azure Marketplace.

“There is a hidden contact center, everywhere you look. It might not look like a stereotypical contact center, but somebody in the office is scheduling appointments, and coordinating dispatch, and answering accounts receivable calls,” Lindsley said. “It truly is a universal application for delivering the outcomes and the experiences that we’re all looking to deliver and our partners, of course, play a key role in that, whether it’s sold on a retail basis or whether our partners wholesale that solution and are in the front and center of that experience for the end user customer.”

Gina Narcisi

Gina Narcisi is a senior editor covering the networking and telecom markets for CRN.com. Prior to joining CRN, she covered the networking, unified communications and cloud space for TechTarget. She can be reached at gnarcisi@thechannelcompany.com.

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