Category Archives: Cloud

How I Work – Zang Spaces

One of the most useful tools in my toolbox is Zang Spaces. Spaces has helped me take the work out of getting work done. Check out this five minute video I created to see how!

Zang Spaces Walkthrough from Steve Forcum on Vimeo.


Teach your business software new skills

If you’ve ever seen the Iron Man movies you’ve met JARVIS, Tony Stark’s Artificial Intelligence, who’s always present to control the smart home, power Tony’s armor, or provide a sarcastic comment. From the moment I walked out of the movie theater years ago, I wanted to bring JARVIS to my home.

Fast forward eight years, and that wish has begun to come true. Leading in this space is Amazon, with their Echo line of products which bring their Artificial Intelligence (AI) solution, Alexa, to your home. You can ask Alexa for information, such as “what’s the weather in Seattle?”, or “What’s my commute?”, or “What’s on my calendar today?”. You can also ask Alexa to help with tasks such as “re-order Paper Towels”, “Set a Timer for 20 minutes”, or “Play music”.

If Artificial Intelligence could only tell you the time, or set a timer, it isn’t what I would call intelligent. Amazon agreed, and developed a Software Developer Kit (SDK) for Alexa. This toolkit for developers enabled Alexa to learn new “skills” such as ordering a pizza from Dominos, fetching the headlines from Huffington Post, or asking Automatic if you need more gas. These “skills” are integrations between two systems which delivers real value.

Now think about what Artificial Intelligence, and more specifically the “skills” you can teach it, could do for your business. Imagine the growth in customer loyalty, if Artificial Intelligence could react to a maintenance alert from a customer’s vehicle by conferencing in service technicians, ordering the necessary parts, and building a conference call with the customer to discuss the situation and schedule an appointment. What would the impact be to patient experience, if a change in health captured by monitoring equipment resulted in a video conference with the patient care team, with all relative records included in the conference?

Only Avaya can empower your business software to achieve these results. You can teach your existing communications solution new “skills” using Avaya Breeze, or leverage the power of the cloud with Zang, our Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS).

Want to learn more? Visit our website (click here) or contact your Avaya Business Partner.

I’ll have the Cloud, with a side order of expertise.

Amazon is the world’s largest online retailer. Born as a bookseller, Amazon quickly diversified into other product lines including movies (DVD& BlueRay), toys, and pretty much everything in between. Amazon further adjusted to the growing conversion from physical consumption to virtual delivery. Products such as MP3 music files and later streaming video keep Amazon at the top of the e-commerce pile. (Source)

As you would imagine, like any other retailer, Amazon must deal with peaks and valleys of demand throughout the year. Consumers scour the stores and sites for the hottest toy, gadget or gizmo at the end of the year, but in the dog days of summer, those consumers are more likely to be on a beach than in front of their computer.  Amazon had to build their infrastructure as if every month was December, leaving excess capacity for the remainder of the year. Out of this glut of computing power, a brilliant idea was hatched…what if Amazon could sell the idle computing power in their data center to increase the profitability of idle resources. Enterprise customers could leverage the expertise and scale of Amazon’s data centers at a cost much more attractive than building it themselves. This product, Amazon Web Services (AWS), enables an enterprise to quickly build an application server in the Amazon cloud and only pay for the resources served by that application. The product has been a runaway success for Amazon, doubling revenue over the past two years while being forecast to become a $10B business in it’s own right. (Source)

The only problem? This origin story is a myth. Then CTO for Amazon, Werner Vogels, wrote about Amazon Web Services, and it’s history, on Quora: (Source)

The excess capacity story is a myth. It was never a matter of selling excess capacity, actually within 2 months after launch AWS would have already burned through the excess capacity.  Amazon Web Services was always considered a business by itself, with the expectation that it could even grow as big as the retail operation.”

While the origin of Amazon Web Services is built on a myth, it is undeniable that the appeal of a product built using the expertise and infrastructure which powers the world’s largest retailer, is desirable.

A similar product story is emerging in the Unified Communications and Customer Engagement industry. TeleTech, a leader in the Business Process Outsourcing industry, handles over 1 Billion customer interactions per year. Serving that level of traffic in 80 countries around the world requires robust investments in infrastructure and expertise. In fact TeleTech operates one of the largest and most reliable Avaya Aura Unified Communications and Customer Engagement deployments around the world to support their business.

Leveraging their investments in infrastructure and expertise, TeleTech now offers a cloud solution which enables enterprises to migrate their on-premise PBX to the cloud, all while minimizing business risk. The TeleTech cloud is powered by Avaya Aura, meaning your existing call flows, business intelligence and historical data all migrate to the cloud without loss. Your front line teams do not waste time learning the basics of a new tool, and your business continues to measure itself on the metrics you already understand. As Avaya delivers new innovations such as Breeze, Real Time Speech Analytics, Context Store and OmniChannel solutions, they are available for your business to deploy. Add the benefits of a pay as you go billing model, and your total cost of ownership goes down while your customer satisfaction scores go up.

If you’re struggling to serve your customers with an old PBX, take a look at the TeleTech Cloud solution, powered by Avaya. The reliability of world class infrastructure and expertise from TeleTech paired with the innovations from the leader in Customer Engagement.