Linking back-end and front-end systems may become less of a problem for corporations. Lucent Technologies Inc. spinoff Avaya has announced an alliance with AMC Technology to provide software that improves the connectivity between Avaya's CRM software and SAP applications. AMC specializes in integrating CRM and computer telephony integration (CTI) software with SAP databases.
Many companies have effective billing, customer service and delivery systems, said Kim Mackay, executive general manager at Avaya. "[The systems] are not tied together to give customer service agents a holistic view of the customer," she said.
AMC has developed two interfaces in cooperation with Avaya that connect Avaya platforms to the SAP Customer Interaction Center. The two connectors, the Telephony Connector for SAP and the IVR Connector for SAP, are aimed at bridging the gap between Avaya's CRM applications and SAP applications, which will allow contact center agents to quickly access SAP R/3 and SAP CRM systems.
The AMC software brings to Avaya's own packages "the ability to bring corporate knowledge of the customer together [and] help with the integration of the front office to SAP systems to give a unified view of the customer," Mackay said.
The Telephony Connector performs translation and delivery of telephony functions to SAP. When it's linked to Avaya's software, it provides CTI-enabled screen pops on the agent's SAP Customer Interaction Center screen that can include transaction information from the SAP database and the interactive voice response system.
Meanwhile, the IVR Connector supports communication between Avaya's Conversant interactive voice response system and SAP, enabling information entered by a customer via the interactive voice response system to be intelligently routed to an appropriate agent. It also allows customers to interact directly with the SAP system, which allows customers to find answers to their inquiries without assistance from an agent.
"AMC brings to us the ability to be working from a development perspective," Mackay said in regards to the alliance. "[AMC's software] allows our applications to work with SAP applications."
A large number of Avaya's customers use SAP, according to Mackay, and the alliance is targeted toward those customers, which tend to be large multinational corporations.
AMC will also develop interfaces that integrate Avaya's CRM Central 2000 software with SAP databases, giving companies Avaya's intelligent workflow engine and predictive routing technology, in addition to increased connectivity throughout the enterprise.
Additionally, Avaya has plans to develop similar alliances to bridge the gap between their software and other applications that their customers use. The company's goal is to connect ERP systems broadly across Avaya's CRM portfolio, Mackay said.
The Telephony Connector and the IVR Connector are both available now worldwide. Pricing is $30,000 and $20,000, respectively, with additional fees for installation and professional fees.