Avaya is bringing its unified communications capabilities for smaller businesses to the mobile world.
The company is rolling out a mobile application for its Avaya IP Office 8.0 for mobile devices running Google's Android mobile operating system, with support for Apple's iPhones coming soon.
Avaya's one-X Mobile Preferred for IP Office app is designed to give mobile users the same unified communications (UC) capabilities on their devices as they have in their offices, according to the company. The application will enable users to do everything on their portable devices from managing conferences to using instant messaging.
The move mirrors a push being done by UC and video conferencing vendors to bring their respective technologies to mobile platforms. Over the past year, such vendors as Cisco Systems, Polycom, ShoreTel, Vidyo and Radvision all have offered software apps for Android and Apple devices. Most recently, Polycom announced Jan. 9 that its RealPresence Mobile application is now being preloaded on Motorola's new Droid Xyboard Android tablet.
Avaya already has its Essentially Mobility solution for IP Office for voice calling capabilities such as single-number access and call control. That solution, which currently supports Symbian, Windows Mobile and iPhones, will gain support for Android and BlackBerry devices from Research In Motion in the first quarter.
Much of this effort is being driven by a rising demand from an increasingly mobile workforce that wants to leverage the growing number of online collaboration offerings that make it easier to connect with employees, partners and customers, while also enabling businesses to reduce travel costs.
This is true for small and midsize businesses (SMBs) and enterprises alike. According to market research firm IDC, a recent survey found that more than 60 percent of midsize companies said they provide smartphones to workers. In addition, more than 55 percent of midsize companies and more than 230 percent of small businesses said they have plans to buy UC components over the next 12 months.
That SMB group is the market that Avaya targets with its IP Office 8.0 solution. With the one-X Mobile Preferred app, the vendor is now enabling these companies to take their UC capabilities wireless. With the app, users can manage a multiparty conference through their mobile devices, from inviting, muting and dropping people during the call to pulling people into the conference and initiating it.
They also can display their availability to others, use IM, use geopresence capabilities to let people know where they are in the world, and get all of their business voicemails on the mobile device.
Avaya has also included an integrated UC module, the C110 Unified Communications module, that company officials said eliminates the need for an external server in IP Office deployments, leading to faster installation and less equipment costs. In addition, new desktop IP Office plug-ins bring embedded communications into business productivity applications, giving SMB users greater flexibility in their communications. They can use federated presence to move Google Talk and IP Office contacts into the one-X Portal for IP Office, a communications portal for SMBs.
They also can make phone calls from a Salesforce.com page and use voicemail within their Outlook email window.