Avaya Launches Unified Communications ''Editions''
Avaya on Thursday unveiled a new family of unified communications technologies and announced the acquisition of a developer of enterprise mobility solutions to help expand the company's offerings in the unified communications portion of the market.
The unified communications product family includes different "editions" designed for different markets. The new unified communications editions will be available to customers in the first half of 2007. Pricing will vary based on deployment and licensing terms.
Avaya also announced the deployment, with business partner Cross Telecom, of a unified communications solution to Intermountain Healthcare, a healthcare system with 40 hospitals and 130 clinic locations in Utah and southeastern Idaho.
"Unified communications is a very important topic in the communications industry right now," says Jorge Blanco, Avaya vice president of solutions and applications. "We want to provide our customers with a unified portfolio of products rather than forcing them to wade through a potpourri of solutions."
The new editions will also be device agnostic. Users will be able to use the Avaya applications on any device--IP, digital or analog hard-wired phones, softphones, smartphones, in-building wireless or cellular. The top-end editions will include integration with communications applications including Microsoft Exchange and Outlook, as well as IBM Lotus Domino, Notes and Sametime. Avaya will ship an integration application for Microsoft Office Communicator in the first quarter of 2007.
Avaya's Essential Edition is designed for office-based users who need advanced IP functionality, messaging support and conferencing functionality. The Standard Edition is designed for mainstream users who need office and mobile communications. The Advanced Edition is designed for users that want the ability to collaborate with large teams using integrated voice and "whiteboard" sessions. The Professional Edition is geared to "strategic" communications who use video communications and speech recognition, including video conferencing and voice-driven access to messages and other personal applications.
"We're well positioned to provide a unified communications experience for our customers," Blanco says, adding that Avaya's ability to provide unified communications is strengthened with the acquisition of Fremont, Calif.-based Traverse Networks for an undisclosed sum. Traverse Networks is a privately held developer of enterprise mobility solutions designed for mobile communications. Traverse's server software and interfaces link enterprise communication applications to mobile devices.
"A lot of users have access to various [handheld] communications devices, but they want to get the richness that they experience with a PC," Blanco says. "Now they can get that all together on one device."
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