At last week’s GITEX Global conference in Dubai, communications hardware and software provider Avaya demonstrated how its technology can be integrated into a metaverse experience. GITEX has become a leading technology conference across the globe, rivaling CES for attendance.
Avaya has been a mainstay at the event for years and has always been good at showcasing its technology and innovation through customer cases.
We’re still in the early stages of the metaverse, so there aren’t many concrete examples. In fact, most IT managers I talk to are interested in futuristic technology, but don’t know how to use it or what some practical business use cases are.
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Here, the Avaya Dubai team collaborated with its partner, Solutions Avanza, and presented the result at the Avaya stand at GITEX. Avanza is a leading supplier of digital transformation solutions in the Gulf region.
Avaya partners with Avanza to bring the metaverse to life
The joint solution supports Dubai’s vision to be one of the leading cities in the Metaverse and is expected to create tens of thousands of Metaverse-related jobs over the next decade as the city looks to build on the virtual environment to add to the already strong economy of the UNITED ARAB EMIRATES.
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Currently, if a company wants to come and do business in Dubai, several tasks must be completed, including obtaining permits and applying for work visas. Instead of having to complete these tasks by traveling to government offices and office buildings, which can take hours depending on the traffic I encountered in Dubai, all tasks can be completed in the metaverse. Some services can be provided online, but even that can be difficult as each agency has its own website.
The interface even allows for property selection where users can access virtual versions of buildings, design an office and experience the many sights Dubai has to offer. Dubai Metaverse brings together everything needed to start a business in one place: physical and virtual.
Avaya brings the contact center to Metaverse
If a customer has issues, the user can connect to a contact center agent through the metaverse interface in conjunction with Avaya OneCloud CCaaS (Contact Center as a Service). Customers can interact with virtual agents in Metaverse, talk to a live agent via a phone call, or even use social media apps, such as Meta’s WhatsApp.
For Avaya, integrating the metaverse into its contact center was not a complicated process. At GITEX, I spoke with Avaya’s international president, Nidal Abou-Ltaif, and he said, “We see it as just another channel. Avaya OneCloud CCaaS is fully cloud-based and designed to be open, which adds another channel so customer interactions can happen quickly and without any interruption.”
While Avaya’s mission for the past few years has been to create “experiences that matter”, the theme of their GITEX booth was “innovation without disruption”. The way Avaya has integrated the metaverse into OneCloud CCaaS underscores this. Avaya customers can experience the metaverse and add contact center functionality without having to implement a new platform or undergo a major upgrade.
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If there’s one thing for business leaders to take away from the pandemic, it’s that no one knows what the future holds, underscoring the importance of business agility. An open platform like OneCloud CCaaS allows companies to quickly adapt their customer service strategy to meet current demands without having to go through a massive upgrade.
Dubai Metaverse creates a digital twin of business processes
Dubai Metaverse can be seen as a digital twin of all the public processes needed to start a business in the city.
In theory, once this is operational, organizations could use the metaverse version of public services to augment or even replace physical services.
Ideally, citizens and businesses would have access to all services in a hybrid mode, where the web, metaverse or physical services would all provide an identical experience.
One of the unique things about the Gulf region is that the public sector drives innovation and sets the standard for private business. In the US or Western Europe, we often find government agencies lagging behind in technology, sometimes by as much as a decade. I have been to Dubai several times and have been impressed by the level of technology adoption throughout the city. Drones, robots, video cameras, and IoT are commonly used to improve people’s lives, and now comes the metaverse.
It’s interesting to wonder where else Avaya could take this technology. At last year’s GITEX, Avaya showcased a real estate app designed with Dubai-based real estate company EMAAR Properties, which had created an app that potential buyers could use to tour buildings and speak virtually with agents. It’s designed for the pandemic, but like everything else in the world, once a process goes digital, it’s hard to go back. It would make sense to bring something like the EMAAR-based app together with the metaverse and allow buyers to talk to agents, bankers, property managers or other people in the metaverse.
This example of a digital twin is also being used to provide city services that could be replicated in other industries such as retail, higher education, real estate and gaming.
The Metaverse is coming, and it was nice to see a hands-on example at Avaya’s booth at GITEX. The theme of “non-disruptive innovation” used by Avaya at the show is important because new technologies often have long adoption cycles; any kind of business interruption affects customer service, earnings or other consequences.