Over the past few years there have been many adjectives used for IPOCC. Not too many of them favourable! However, the release of Avaya IPOCC 9.1.6 shows that Avaya is listening and that as installers and maintainers of IPOCC, we might be able to expand our vocabulary to include such words as ‘sexy’ and ‘modern’ and ‘user-friendly.’
Before we get too excited though, let’s look at how to get there.
The last year has seen the release of minor bug fixes and little in the way of new features. A smart move on Avaya’s part to get a stable platform, rebuild some trust in the product and then deliver a new feature set. So while many have complained that it looks out of date and is hard to use, this methodology shows us that Avaya is prepared to focus on substance over style and hopefully deliver an enterprise grade contact centre solution with the ease required for mid-market deployments.
This isn’t a guide on how to upgrade your existing IPOCC installations. Just bear in mind that when you do, IPOCC is a big beast with lots of components. Back everything up, take snapshots if you’re running a virtual environment and most importantly of all, be patient. The upgrade process is documented to take 25 minutes but 4 hours isn’t unusual.
Now, let’s see what’s new!
Its web based and it has a familiar look and feel to the other Avaya products featuring Web management. Let’s not get too carried away. It is great for initial system administration but you cannot make ongoing configuration changes with it. Nevertheless, it’s a huge step forward from the clunky file import of old. Speaking of, the old ways still work, it’s now just much simpler through the web interface.
Where it will be useful is for downloading logs and archives. Much like in Server Edition Manager, the web manager will now create archives and download them for you. No more trying to zip the right folders and perform a huge file transfer manually. Some important signs here for the future as I’m sure more and more admin tasks will make their way to the web interface.
Now for where things really get exciting. The Agent interface. Sure, you can run the old clunky, early 2000s looking, has-to-be-installed-everywhere interface. But it’s 2016 and people want to do things in a browser! Now they can. Words probably aren’t going to do justice to the design chasm between the old and the new, so I’ll just let these screenshots do the talking.
Everything an agent needs is a simple click away and it looks good enough that they probably actually want to use it. There’s a ton of information on hand, it’s relevant and it’s easily accessible.
The phone tab is colourful and inviting and again, it’s a simple click to access all the features. There’s not even any setup required to show agent and group statistics. All the most common and expected features are already there. There is no more manually dragging and dropping every element to set up the UI per agent. Installation times will be dramatically reduced as a result. The email and chat tabs also have a modern interface that you’d expect if you were checking your own personal emails
Supervisors aren’t forgotten either. Again with no effort at all they are presented with information about all the groups and agents that they look after, with easy to use, predefined filters to make the information even more relevant. None of this is to say that can’t be customized to suit each user, simply that there’s no investment in time on the installer’s part to get them going.
I’ve mentioned already sexy and modern, and you don’t get sexier and more modern at the moment than with WebRTC. Check out those login screen settings. Integrated phone? What a game changer. Open Chrome, put on a headset and you’ve got everything you need to do your job in one browser tab. Have a laptop or chromebook? Go to work from anywhere!
The traditional call centre model is changing. Of course if you aren’t in the Chrome camp for some reason, or you just love the feel of slamming down the handset at the end of a call, then you can use your traditional means to communicate too.
While this has only been a brief look at the new IPOCC. It has been brought up to today’s standards and shows plenty of hints at continuing to future proof itself and ultimately save time and money rolling it out. Hopefully, it will also bring out some words in you that you’ve never associated with the product before.
What word would you use to describe new IPOCC features? Share this article with your comments.
Want to read more from our Avaya expert? READ How to: Remote troubleshoot SIP on Avaya IP Office Server Edition.
Stuart Logan – Senior Systems Engineer
Stuart has over 10 years’ experience working on the Avaya IP Office product and is a Senior Systems Engineer in our Distribution Central Sydney office.
Whilst he admits he didn’t wake up one day with the burning desire to make phones ring, his decision to quit his job at KFC in New Zealand, to move to Australia and put his degree in Web Based Information Systems to good use, turned out to be a pretty good decision.