Avaya Expands Business Collaboration for Small and Medium Enterprise Market

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Avaya has introduced the new version of Avaya IP Office—the company’s flagship communications solution for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME). The company says IP Office Release 6.1 delivers a host of business collaboration and customer service enhancements that can improve ease-of-use and worker productivity for SME workers, and provides significant new efficiencies for businesses.

The new version of Avaya IP Office extends total cost of ownership (TCO) strengths by enabling installation via a single DVD containing the open standards-based Linux operating system (OS) and key communications applications. Formerly, the OS and IP Office applications had to be installed via several sources and multiple DVDs.

This new approach can cut down software installation times by as much as 75% saving labour costs and simplifying installation. Additionally, when compared to other OS environments, Linux does not require user licenses, driving further savings.

Other advancements introduced include:

Flexible Avaya one-X Portal for IP Office: The solution’s dynamic Web-based desktop communications interface for home-based, mobile and office workers features a newly-designed, customisable interface with drag and drop application gadgets. The application—which lets users manage calls, instant messages and e-mails from one PC-based portal—now allows users to place gadgets (i.e. Directory, Call Log, etc.) wherever they want on their screen. Further customisation includes ‘skins’ and branding with the SME’s business name.

Improved Contact Centre Reporting: Now, an SME can gauge the success of a customer campaign through location-based business intelligence that analyses all calls flowing into a contact centre, and makes them viewable on a geographic map. This capability provides a visual report of the volume of customer interaction based on their location.

Expanded Video Options: Avaya IP Office expands upon its videoconferencing capabilities, going beyond Softphone-based video to now offer more advanced multi-point HD videoconferencing with up to 4 parties. Additionally, it enables video integration with selected third-party SIP phones.

Multi-site Management: SME owners can now manage multiple office sites using one consolidated interface. This function requires a single log-in to view and manage communications parameters (i.e. user rights, hunt groups) of multiple locations (up to 32 sites).

With Avaya IP Office 6.1, the company is accelerating unified communications and contact center technologies in the SME market, but with a focus on helping businesses save time and money. This helps SMEs compete more effectively, but do so in a cost-conscious manner. According to a recent SME survey, even as most SMEs (61%) believe technology is key to staying competitive, more than half (54%) believe cost-savings is the main driver for new technology adoption.

“Avaya continues to strengthen its SMB product offering with the Avaya IP Office 6.1 release,” commented MZA Ltd General Manager, Stephanie Watson. “In addition to extended multi-site networking capabilities, enhancements to the OneX portal interface, contact centre reporting and multi-party video capabilities, this new release also incorporates key improvements in deployment and management options which will resonate well with the SMB channel participants.

“Enhancements made available in Release 6.1 which will extend support of Nortel IP devices in the IP Office environment should reassure legacy Avaya and Nortel customers and channels, “ continued Watson. “Improved interoperability in mixed IPO and BCM environments and, importantly, an enhanced Essential Edition targeting the significant Norstar installed base in the Middle East and Africa underlines Avaya’s commitment to deliver on its Avaya/Nortel product roadmap.”