Avaya Introduces New UC Capabilities for Small Businesses

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Avaya has introduced the new release of Avaya IP Office—the company’s flagship communications solution for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Avaya IP Office 6.0 features new unified communications (UC) capabilities that deliver enhanced user experiences to employees in any location. These capabilities include advanced collaboration tools using voice, instant messaging, presence and video to drive a more productive and flexible workforce.

Additionally, Avaya IP Office is now easier and more affordable for a key market segment — businesses with less than 20 employees — to install and use. This enables the smallest of companies to cost-effectively implement the advanced communications and customer service functions of larger systems. With this new release, Avaya makes unified communications up to 40% more affordable for small businesses.

“With Avaya IP Office 6.0 in place, small businesses don’t have to sacrifice easy, intuitive operation in order to get the enhanced communications features of large enterprises,” said Anthony Bartolo, general manager, Small and Medium Enterprise Communications. “Our latest version provides SME’s with all the next generation collaboration tools necessary for competing more effectively today against peers and larger competitors – and for thriving as the economy recovers.”

Avaya says trends show that SMEs are optimistic about the future, yet seek new paths to business success. While most SMEs expect revenue growth in 2010, more than three out of four state that coming out of the recession, the old way of doing business won’t work and they need to find new ways of taking advantage of market opportunities.

Avaya addresses this with advancements to its user-based SME solutions designed for teleworkers, mobile workers and office workers, including enhancements to Avaya one-X Portal for IP Office –a desktop communications tool easily accessible via Web—and new video collaboration capabilities.

Avaya IP Office 6.0 also introduces video collaboration through a new IP Office Video Softphone application. This offers voice control features via a virtual phone or a PC or laptop supporting point-to-point video communications when visuals are required.

Other key Avaya IP Office improvements include doubling support capacity in a Multi-Site Network to 1,000 users. This enables SMEs in a wide-area network to extend the benefits of seamless communications, such as extension dialing and conferencing, to everyone across a business. Additionally, to keep essential communications running during an outage, Avaya IP Office enhances business continuity capabilities beyond telephony operation to now include voice messaging, auto attendant capabilities and other capabilities.

According to IDC, an international provider of market intelligence for information technology, companies with less than 20 employees account for more than 90% of small businesses worldwide. Avaya says that IP Office is now affordably available to this segment through a new ‘combination card’ – providing just a single card for what used to require several cards to support digital, analog and IP devices. This, paired with a new line of phones for businesses with less than 20 employees, reduces costs without sacrificing capability.

“Now, the smallest businesses can gain access to the rich capabilities that were previously only available to larger companies,” said Paul Blundell, general manager of iQual, an Avaya Partner in the UK. “And with IP Office 6.0, the savings in money and time are formidable. For example, the 90% price reduction in voicemail, combined with the new combination card, can make a real difference for companies with less than 20 employees. And we estimate that the programming, set-up and training time provided to this segment will now be cut by 50% – to just half a day. This and other benefits will make it much easier for business partners to deploy.”