Avaya Inc. has a new hardware/software communications package for small and midsize businesses looking for IT answers with fewer integration challenges.
"You could go buy four or five different boxes, log in to each one, administer each of them, and read the manuals for each one," said Saied Seghatoleslami, vice president of product management and development for Avayas Small and Medium Business Solutions group, in Basking Ridge, N.J. "Whats your probability of making something like that work? How much of your time is going to be spent putting it together and maintaining it?"
SMBs, which typically make purchasing decisions more quickly than large enterprises do, are a growing focus for Avaya and many of its competitors. Recent tax code changes and the trend toward enterprise outsourcing have benefited small companies, making them a more alluring target.
Avayas IP Office-Small Office Edition is targeted primarily at branch offices with up to 28 users. The box, which fits anywhere that a standard ream of paper fits, comes with a built-in firewall, Internet access, wireless connectivity, advanced messaging capabilities and three-way calling. It includes a setup wizard.
In addition to making enterprise-level communications available to small businesses, the product makes it easier to add emerging capabilities such as wireless voice over IP, Seghatoleslami said. Companies can use whatever analog, digital or wireless phones they have to connect the system by cable modem, DSL, wireless or the standard telephone network.
Last week, Avaya also introduced an integrated VPN to its SMB portfolio, enabling small businesses to set up more secure networks without incurring separate VPN integration costs.
Components of Avayas IP Office-Small Office Edition are available from a number of competitors. This fall, Nortel Networks Inc. launched an SMB package that includes updated management software; enhanced unified messaging software; and new VPN, firewall and IP routing features.