Avaya in Enterprise Mobility Leadership Push

Avaya has stated a goal to become the global market leader in enterprise mobility and fixed-mobile convergence applications by 2008. The overall global market for enterprise mobile solutions is projected to be $7.6 billion in 2008.

The global IP telephony and contact centre leader also unveiled a plan to equip the most mobile 8,000 of its 20,000 strong workforce with new fixed-mobile communications (FMC) software, devices and network features. FMC solutions integrate fixed line and mobile networks, allowing people to move from one work mode to another transparently. Using Avaya’s FMC solutions, mobile workers are able to extend the features found on their office desk phone – such as conferencing, voicemail and corporate directory information – to mobile devices. The company estimates the deployment will save $25 million a year through productivity gains, lower communications costs and other operational benefits.

Don Peterson, Chairman and CEO of Avaya, said: “The seamless integration of fixed and mobile networks will change everyone’s view of what mobile communication is and what it can do for businesses. Our goal – to become the global market leader in enterprise mobility and fixed-mobile convergence applications by 2008 – is critical to our plans to deliver Intelligent Communications, providing our customers with the ability to reach the right person, at the right time, by the right medium – over any network. We see the convergence of wired and wireless IP telephony, cellular systems and business applications as an important step to realising this vision. We intend to lead the charge for our customers and be a model for best practice.”
Bob Hafner, Chief of Research, Communications, Gartner said: “The first challenge for voice was the convergence with data; the second challenge will be the convergence of wired and wireless voice. The mobile workforce is demanding seamless connectivity and access to the IP voice applications they are now becoming dependent on in the office. Vendors need to recognise this early and respond with products to meet these needs.”

During the past 12 months, Avaya has established and strengthened major initiatives with the market leaders in mobile and cellular technologies, including Intel, Meru Networks, Motorola, Nokia, Research In Motion, ScanSoft and Symbian. Last month the company launched several new IP-based mobile solutions including productivity tools for teleworkers, and software downloadable over the air to enable Avaya customers to extend the capabilities of their office desk phones to Nokia Series 60 smartphones. Benefits include the convenience of one business number and one voicemail box, as well as access to enterprise-class features, such as multi-party conferencing, simultaneous call appearance on desk phones and mobile phones, group calling and call transfer.

Avaya customers rolling out the new Avaya Mobility client include Reykjavik Energy, which operates the world’s largest geo-thermal district-heating system and provides water and electricity distribution to half of Iceland’s population. Arnlaugur Gudmundsson, CIO of Reykjavik Energy said: “With 200 workers dispersed over a wide area, we wanted to ensure they could communicate as effectively on the road as if sat at their desk. We found the benefit of having desk-phone features, such as abbreviated dialing and voicemail, extended to their mobile saves 400 hours a week and makes them responsive. It is as though the mobile is just another extension of the IP-telephony system. This is helping us to deliver better levels of service to our citizens.”

Underscoring Avaya’s commitment to lead the enterprise mobility applications sector, the company unveiled a plan to deploy FMC solutions by 2008 to 8,000 of its most mobile customer-facing employees, comprising key sales, services and executive staff.
The FMC solutions are planned to be deployed over the next three-years and expected to yield productivity gains in excess of 5 percent. The first phase involves enabling Avaya’s network infrastructure to cope seamlessly between the demands of wired and wireless devices, and completion of trial evaluations. Currently, Avaya Mobile for Series 60 (one of the FMC solutions) is being trialed by 160 employees in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific using Nokia Series 60 smartphones. The main deployment of devices, which is also likely to include dual-mode WiFi/cellular devices as they become available, is planned for 2007/2008.

The FMC project forms part of the company’s ‘Avaya by Example’ business transformation program in which Avaya has used its own technologies and services to increase efficiency, customer service and reduce cost (see Notes to Editors for information on other mobility solutions within this program). Avaya by Example, together with other wide-ranging IT initiatives, has helped the company reduce its IT costs by nearly $500 million during the past five years.