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Avaya's 'Changing the User Experience' Event Kicks-Off ITEXPO West in LA

October 03, 2010

The design of interfaces, endpoints and applications and how they affect user experiences brewed a lively discussion at Avaya’s Technology on Tap event, the unofficial kick-off of ITEXPO West, which will commence on Monday, Oct. 4 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

The Avaya-sponsored session, “Rethinking Design: Changing the User Experience” featured an industry expert line-up of thought leaders from Avaya and Frog Design.

Paul Pugh, executive creative director of Frog, spoke to a standing room only crowd at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles on Sunday evening, focusing on the line between work and private life – saying that line has not just blurred, it has disintegrated.

This change has decentralized the need for offices, changed the way we work, and ultimately changed our work output. With technology moving at such a rapid pace, end users have more communications options than ever before, making the design of user interfaces, application experiences and endpoints more critical than ever. “E-mail has lost its value; it’s so dense. This communication (referring to blogs, texts, status posts) – the brevity is the power,” Pugh said.

He also explored how design is transforming our personal and professional lives. He explained that “work,” per se, is no longer a “place” – but rather work has transformed into something that we are doing in our minds; “we always in a work mode…work is something we can no longer turn off,” he said. “We are here on a Sunday night, and we are all working. We could be home watching the Giants,” he joked.

Social networks are distorting – even erasing – the line between our personal and professional lives. “Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn – they are colliding our worlds, maybe the social norms are relaxing,” Pugh proposed.

Christian Von Reventlow (picture above), vice president of new products at Avaya, said this very idea was the genesis of the Avaya Flare—the brand-new communications tool that unifies video, e-mail, IM, social networks and phone into one interface, opening up the barriers between those technologies.

The Flare features contextual collaboration, displaying information relevant for the context at hand, such as a meeting or video conference. Von Reventflow promised the Flare will continue to unify more devices in the future.

“It will become a controlling device for video conferencing rooms, smartphones and tablets – it will continue to evolve and grow,” he said.

Wendy Mikklesen, director of product marketing, Contact Center Communications of Avaya, pointed out that major customer demographics are fundamentally changing with different customer satisfaction expectations; there are currently 78 million Baby Boomers, 55 million Generation Xers and 80 million Generation Yers – and those of the millennial generation are opinionated, tech-savvy and feel empowered by the Internet, she said.

Lost data and lost context equals poor customer satisfaction, Mikklesen pointed out. Today, contact centers hold a lot of power in terms of keeping customers happy and retaining – or releasing – their business. Avaya’s next gen contact center product – Aura Contact Center 6.0 – is a context-sensitive, collaborative, voice and multi-media customers contact product that helps manage the end-to-end experience.

Erin Harrison is Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives, for TMC, where she oversees the company´┐Żs strategic editorial initiatives, including the launch of several new print and online initiatives. She plays an active role in the print publications and unified communications, covering IP communications, information technology and other related topics. To read more of Erin's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Patrick Barnard

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