• January 11, 2012
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

Avaya Releases IP Office 8.0

Avaya today unveiled Avaya IP Office 8.0, the latest version of its unified communications (UC) solution for small and midsized businesses. The new version introduces a range of advancements for improving collaboration, including a set of capabilities that keep mobile workers connected to colleagues and customers wherever they go.

The new mobility application for Avaya IP Office 8.0—called one-X Mobile Preferred for IP Office—enables users to access a set of unified communications capabilities on Android devices. A version for the iPhone is due out later this year, according to Joe Scotto, global director of small and midsized enterprise solutions marketing at Avaya.

Key features of Avaya one-X Mobile Preferred for IP Office include the following:

  • Full multiparty conference management, with the ability to invite, view, mute, and drop participants during a conference call. Users can set up voice conferences by selecting the participants and then with one touch, initiate a group conference.
  • Integrated presence, which enables users to display their availability status to coworkers via mobile device and show specific times of availability based on their Microsoft Outlook calendars. Unavailable workers can let colleagues follow them and receive alerts when availability resumes.
  • Instant Messaging, which lets workers find colleagues via an integrated corporate directory and begin a text chat with multiple co-workers simultaneously.
  • Visual Voicemail, which lets users see all of their business voicemail on their mobile devices with date/time information. Users can hear voicemail messages as they are being left in real-time and access calls in progress.

The new solution also integrates with Microsoft Outlook, Salesforce.com, and Google Talk. With it, users can use federated presence to bring Google Talk and IP Office contacts into Avaya one-X Portal for IP Office, make and receive phone calls from Salesforce.com pages, view directory contacts for Google Talk and IP Office in one location, with click-to-call and conference capabilities, and use visual voicemail within a Microsoft Outlook email window.

"The new application suite takes capabilities already available on a desktop and makes them available on the smartphone," Scotto explains. "From a smartphone you are now able to not only catch a call but initiate and manage your own conference call."

Avaya IP Office 8.0 also offers new serverless collaboration capabilities delivered through an integrated unified communications module, called the Avaya C110 Unified Communications module. This can eliminate the need for an external server in IP Office implementations, helping to simplify deployment for partners, reduce installation times and decrease equipment costs.

"Within one box, any business—from five to 1,000 users—can access the types of capabilities they want," Scotto says."This makes it very easy because there's only one product to manage, and on the customer side, it's very easy to grow with."

The IP Office application suite can network scale for up to 32 sites/systems and 1,000 users on the same system, according to Scotto.

"Today's IP Office release raises unified communications in small and midsized enterprises to a whole new level, extending big business mobility to SME workers based anywhere, and helping SMEs gain these advanced capabilities in an accessible and cost-effective manner," said Anthony Bartolo, general manager of Avaya's unified communications division, in a statement.

But for Scotto, it's much simpler than that. "This is part of how we're thinking about the market," he says. "SMEs want to work within what they've got, whether that's Outlook or Salesforce."

For Jeff Stark, technology director at the Duluth, Minn., Entertainment Convention Center, a pilot site for the new IP Office product, the new version is far more advanced than most other similar solutions. "The mobility advancements in Avaya IP Office 8.0 are the most comprehensive we've seen and will be essential in helping us run a location as large as the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center," he said in a statement. "We'll now have the ability to see who's available, where they are, and keep them connected into the team.

"Fast collaboration is essential for the 450-plus people we have dedicated to running a day's event at DECC, and we couldn't do it this effectively without Avaya IP Office," he concluded.

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