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New Mindsets that Will Immediately Boost Your Productivity

If we’ve learned anything from the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s that something good often can come from something bad. At CTI, many of our customers see a silver lining in this difficult situation. They see this global challenge as an opportunity to make their organization stronger and faster acting. We’re working with them to deliver the communications solutions and offering the subscription models they need to address today’s challenges and ensure future resiliency.

Along with our business partner Avaya, we focus on enabling our customers to create and deliver “Experiences that Matter.” The term “experience” is an interesting concept which has both physical and psychological elements. It is said that William James, a Harvard professor heralded as one of the fathers of psychology, saw the “Experience itself – the taking in of the world of objects and its relations, as well as the processes of consciousness surrounding all this – to be the fundamental unit of empirical interest in psychology – of reality itself.” He is also often noted for the quote: “The greatest revolution of our generation is the discovery that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.”

As CTI and Avaya have worked with our customers through this crisis, there are four new mindsets we have noted that have enabled our customers to maintain and even increase their workforce productivity during these challenging times. Adopting these new “sets of attitudes” is empowering them to shape their businesses to achieve more, be more prepared, and maximize the potential of their workforce.

Mindset #1: Moving away from ownership of products that go obsolete, to accessing Experiences that drive desired business results

Our customers are breaking free from the encumbrances of “budgetary cycles” to increase the flexibility of how they access and consume innovation. They want to innovate when they have needs, not only when they have budget.

Some customers are leveraging Avaya’s extensive cloud portfolio for this, recognizing the important benefits for driving modernization:

  • Enterprise-grade: delivers scale, migration and tools supporting any size organization
  • Easy-to-connect: a single provider of a full enterprise and blended stack between the front- and back-office and across multiple devices for multi-modal experience
  • Innovation: helps deliver new outcomes that are seamlessly adopted with existing environments and opportunities to innovate at the edge with open APIs
  • Ecosystem supported: an unmatched ecosystem of channel and technology partnerships
  • Flexibility to consume: offers the most comprehensive and flexible set of consumption and deployment models for any size of enterprise – public, private and hybrid

Others that are not yet ready to move their entire communications infrastructures to the cloud are choosing Avaya Subscription as their next major step forward. They realize that for most businesses, the shift to the cloud is not an X → Y binary event where existing infrastructure is turned off and cloud services are turned on. It is really more of an “X → XY → Y” journey, where customers are initially moving to “hybrid cloud” solutions (ZK Research predicts that 80% of future contact center deployments will be either private cloud or hybrid cloud and on-premises solutions). This “XY”/hybrid cloud state is the sweet spot for a subscription model. In fact, since every Avaya Subscription Employee Experience package also includes cloud collaboration services, including Avaya Spaces, every business that subscribes to these packages instantly becomes a hybrid cloud customer.

Avaya’s subscription model gives businesses an opportunity to move away from negotiating and managing complex perpetual contracts and to instead create an all-in-one software and support contract aligned with their true needs. Large up-front costs are replaced by smaller monthly or annual payments. Avaya’s award-winning desktop and conferencing devices can also be included in the subscription (since subscription is the same pricing model used for cloud services, these are more easily added as you continue your journey forward).

Mindset #2: Viewing the Home as the new Branch Office

I’ve been asked why an existing customer that is already running the latest Avaya software would change to a subscription model. For many, it’s because they find subscription to be a more attractive vehicle to access incremental content. Enabling remote workers and support agents is one example of this. Ensuring secure remote worker communications often requires advanced SBC features, which can be easily obtained through the subscription.

Equipping remote support agents with the latest agent experience is also made easier with the subscription model. The shift to working at home has been especially dramatic for these agents, from 3% primarily working from home to 34% in the U.S. according to Avaya research. Over half of the agents not working from home say it is either because they cannot do their job from home or their employer hasn’t provided a way for them to work from home. Our CMO, Simon Harrison, recently shared some great perspectives on this at Remote AID 2020.

Employee Experience (EX) is one of the greatest factors of Customer Experience (CX). Gartner research states “The quality of the employee experience affects all aspects of work: performance, engagement, retention and even attraction of talent.” When employees are working from home, giving them the same tools and capabilities that they have in the office helps to maintain their productivity. Studies show that 46% of employees say Avaya devices increase their productivity and 30% say they increase their customer service capabilities. And Avaya customers are avoiding large upfront devices cost by simply adding them to their subscription.

It is important to note that hackers also work from home, and they can cost your business millions. According to the US Council of Economic Advisors, attacks related to ransom malware have caused damages worth almost $1 billion. U.S. users have paid over $25 million worth of ransom. Businesses can use the subscription model to keep their software current to address critical security risks. Keeping software current also helps to avoid the potential business disruption of customer-impacting outages that can take significant time to resolve.

Mindset #3: Shifting from video conferencing to collaborative work streams

The use of online meetings is skyrocketing and has become critical for the Employee and Customer Experience. Avaya primary research shows that video conferencing has increased for 67% of home office workers and for 57% of all workers since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. This research also shows that many home workers are struggling with their video meeting tools – and this is impacting their productivity (Join this free webinar series to hear more about this research.)

Conversely, many home workers are actually increasing their productivity during these challenging times by moving from focusing only on “video conferencing” to the more constructive and results-gaining motion of creating and leveraging “collaboration workstreams.” They are using Avaya’s online meeting solution, Avaya Spaces™ , which recently won “Best of Show” at Enterprise Connect — to enable this. Avaya Spaces is included with every Avaya Subscription Employee Experience package at no extra charge. Gartner expects the collaboration app market to nearly double by 2023, and this was the view prior to the current global crisis!

Mindset #4: Moving from Reactive to Proactive customer communications

It has been an honor to have been able to help our customers stay connected to their customers during this crisis. Many customers are using Avaya Subscription to bolster their Customer Experience. This is because they can now easily access tools they didn’t have before.

Many customers are focused on expanding their customer self-service capabilities with Avaya Experience Portal. Others see subscription as a great way to move from reactive to proactive customer experience management with Avaya Workspace and Customer Journey capabilities.

Our newest subscription customers span across most verticals, including financial, healthcare and government. One state government subscription customer is using a hybrid cloud model with a mix of cloud customer experience and on-premise services. Another is a roadside assistance service provider that is using Avaya cloud-based digital channel and outbound campaign services.

Summary and Next Steps

I encourage you to consider these mindsets and to also consider Avaya Subscription as the enabler for these shifts

A recent McKinsey study found that over 80% of IT decision-makers now prefer subscriptions for their on-premise software. A subscription purchasing model is a natural next step for many that are entering the “hybrid cloud” phase of their communications. They are realizing the opportunity this brings for them to equip their employees to achieve more, to prepare their businesses for whatever might happen, and to maximize the potential of their business communications to increase their productivity.