IN GITEX Global conference last week in Dubai, a supplier of communications hardware and software Avaya showed how its technology could be integrated into a metaverse experience. GITEX has become a leading technology conference worldwide and rivals CES for attendance.
Avaya has been a mainstay of the event for years and has historically been effective in highlighting its technologies and innovations through customer use cases.
We’re still in the early stages of the metaverse, so there aren’t many real-life examples. In fact, most IT leaders I talk to are interested in futuristic technologies, but aren’t sure how to use them or what some practical business use cases are.
Here, the Avaya Dubai team collaborates with its partner, Avanza Solutions, and demonstrated the result at the Avaya booth at GITEX. Avanza is one of the leading providers of digital transformation solutions in the Gulf region.
Avaya, Avanza partner to revive the metaverse
The joint solution supports Dubai’s vision to be one of the best cities in the metaverse and is set to create tens of thousands of metaverse-related jobs over the next decade as the city looks to draw on the virtual environment to add to its already strong UAE economy.
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Currently, if a company wants to come and do business in Dubai, there are several tasks that need to be completed, including obtaining permits and applying for work visas. Instead of having to complete these tasks by driving to government agencies and office buildings, which could take hours based on the traffic I had in Dubai, all tasks can be completed in the metaverse. Some services can be done over the web, but even this can be a challenge as each agency has its own website.
The interface even allows real estate selection, where users can enter virtual versions of buildings, design an office, and experience the many views that Dubai has to offer. The Dubai Metaverse brings together everything you need to start a business in one place: physical and virtual.
Avaya brings the contact center into the metaverse
If a customer encounters problems, the user can contact a contact center agent through the metauniverse interface in connection with Avaya OneCloud CCaaS (contact center as a service). Customers can interact with virtual agents in the Metaverse, talk to a live agent via phone call, or even use social media apps such as Meta’s WhatsApp.
For Avaya, bringing the metauniverse into its contact center was not a complicated process. At GITEX, I spoke with Avaya International President Nidal Abu-Ltaif about this, and he told me, “We’re just looking at it as another channel. Avaya OneCloud CCaaS is fully cloud-based and designed to be open, so adding another channel for customer interactions can happen quickly and without any disruption.”
While Avaya’s mission for the past few years has been to create “Experiences that Matter,” the theme of its GITEX booth was “Innovation without Disruption.” The way Avaya integrates metaverse into OneCloud CCaaS highlights this. Avaya customers can experiment with metauniverse and add contact center capabilities without having to introduce a new platform or go through a major upgrade.
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If there’s one key takeaway for business leaders 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 businesses to quickly adapt their customer service strategy to meet current demands without having to go through a major upgrade.
Dubai metaverse creates a digital twin of business processes
Dubai’s metauniverse can be seen as a digital twin of all the government processes required to establish a business in the city.
In theory, once this is up and running, organizations could use the metaverse version of government services to augment or even replace physical ones.
Ideally, citizens and businesses would be able to access all services in a hybrid mode, where the web, metaverse, or physical services would provide an identical experience.
One of the unique aspects of the Gulf region is that the public sector drives innovation and sets the standard for private companies. In the US or Western Europe, we often see government agencies lagging behind in technology, sometimes even by a decade. I have been to Dubai several times and was impressed by the level of technology adoption in the city. Drones, robots, video cameras, and IoT are commonly used to improve people’s lives, and now the metaverse is coming.
It’s interesting to think about where else Avaya might use this technology. At last year’s GITEX, Avaya demonstrated a real estate application built with a Dubai-based real estate company EMAAR properties, who created an app that potential buyers can use to tour buildings and virtually chat with agents. It was created for the pandemic, but like everything else in the world, once the process goes digital, it’s hard to go back. It would make sense to implement something like the EMAAR based app along 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 used to provide city services that can be replicated in other industries such as retail, higher education, real estate and gaming.
The metaverse is coming and it was good to see a hands-on example at the Avaya booth at GITEX. The “continuous innovation” theme that Avaya used at the show is important because new technologies often have long adoption cycles; any kind of business interruption has customer service, revenue or other consequences.