The next time you are in a hotel room, relax and ask your smartphone to switch on or off the lights, moderate the AC temperature or simply order coffee and snacks using the in-room dining menu on the "Guest Assist" app.
When it comes to making customer interactions digital-friendly, global communications technology firm Avaya is transforming personal experiences via such device-based solutions.
Avaya's newly-introduced suite of hospitality applications -- accessible on smartphones, landline handsets and tablets -- can turn the in-room telephone into a revenue-generating device, helping people customise to enhance guest experience, increasing the hotel's brand visibility and improving business automation through direct interaction with the hotel's back-end system.
The app-enabled devices link everything -- Bluetooth, camera, voice integration -- to give seamless experiences to the customer.
"Currently, this comes as a hospitality application. However, nothing prevents it from being used in shops or by individuals," Nidal Abou-Ltaif, President, Avaya International, told IANS.
"The phone-based application is drawing excellent response in the market and a world-class chain of hotels has ordered the same in Dubai, while discussions are on with other hotel chains too," Abou-Ltaif informed.
According to him, the company invests in ideas and innovations and will continue to do so in new technologies to make a difference.
Avaya, using the concept of "Smart IOT" (Internet of Things), recently introduced a new solution that can capture changing moods as one is in the midst of a video conference.
So if you are appearing for an interview via video-conferencing, the IoT-based solution can help the employer know what level of stress you can handle and how.
The technology in this context studies emotions -- whether you are sad, happy, excited or surprised during the video-conference. Various moods are reflected on the screen and captured, and can be analysed by the employer at any point of time.
The technology finds wide use in different settings. For example, when a customer walks into a retail store, the camera will catch his mood; if he is sad, the executive will take him to a place inside the store where he can feel more happy, and so on.
"It is basically creating beyond the digital experience," said Jim Chirico, CEO, Avaya.
"We have been hiring experts in respective domains, be it in healthcare, banking, BPO and hospitality, etc., who know what their customers want. If, for example, you lose your hotel key, we have a technique where via face recognition, you can ensure that the doors are opened. We are confident that no competitors can do such innovation," Chirico told IANS.
The experts are working wonders by using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data analytics in the domain of adding newer attributes to understand profile of customers, for example, in banks.
According to top Avaya executives, they are helping in making attributes match with the customer and agents.
"For example, if there is a call from a customer for a credit card, we will have the history of the customer on screen. If he is complaining a lot, we will match him with an agent who has an ability to make him or her comfortable and address all the concerns," said one of the executives during a presentation at the "Experience Avaya Asia-Pacific" meet here.
Similarly, if you have low balance in your bank and want to pay a huge credit card bill, Avaya's technology allows you to browse through different options where you can access ways to avail loans at different interest rates.
"You can choose the option which suits you the most. The voice assistant will be there to help you in resolving all your queries," the presentation read.
Will such AI and IoT-enabled techniques replace humans?
According to Chirico, it will repurpose humans but won't replace them.
Agreeing, Abou-Ltaif added that digital transformation will redefine the work culture to enhance productivity, upscale and improve experiences to ensure companies become more competitive.
Asked if Avaya has any competition, Abou-Ltaif said, "We work for our customers who keep us ahead of competition."
We never pay attention to competition but to innovation -- which make us the leader in the industry," the Avaya president said.
(Archana Sharma was in Singapore at the invitation of Avaya. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)