Avaya Debuts Business Collaboration Platform IP Office 6.1
Business communications specialist Avaya introduced the latest version of IP
Office-the company's flagship communications solution for small and midsize
businesses. IP Office Release 6.1 delivers a host of business collaboration and
customer service enhancements designed to improve ease of use and worker
productivity for SMB workers, and provides new efficiencies for businesses,
including a Web-based desktop communications interface for remote, mobile and
The one-X Portal application for IP Office, which lets users manage calls, instant messages and e-mails from one PC-based portal, now allows users to place gadgets (i.e. Directory, Call Log, etc.) wherever they want on their screen. Further customization includes skins and branding with the SMB's business name. In addition, Version 6.1 boasts improved contact center reporting. Now, businesses gauge the success of a customer campaign through location-based business intelligence that analyzes all calls flowing into a contact center, and makes them viewable on a geographic map. This capability provides a visual report of the volume of customer interaction based on their location.
Avaya IP Office 6.1 also expands upon its video conferencing capabilities, going beyond Softphone-based video to now offer more advanced multipoint HD video conferencing with up to four parties. Additionally, it enables video integration with selected third-party SIP phones. Multisite management allows business managers to control multiple office sites using one consolidated interface. This function requires a single log-in to view and manage communications parameters (i.e. user rights, hunt groups) of multiple locations (up to 32 sites).
"Avaya continues to strengthen its SMB product offering with the Avaya IP Office 6.1 release," said MZA General Manager Stephanie Watson. "In addition to extended multisite networking capabilities, enhancements to the one-X portal interface, contact center reporting and multiparty video capabilities, this new release also incorporates key improvements in deployment and management options which will resonate well with the SMB channel participants."
The company also completed elements of its Avaya IP Office road map, post its acquisition of Nortel Enterprise Systems (NES.) This includes interoperability between IP Office and Business Communications Manager (BCM) platforms to mix and match them in multisite deployments and a newly Avaya branded BCM 6.0 (formerly NES' SMB offering). Avaya BCM 6.0 introduces enhanced unified communications capabilities and also provides new teleworking solutions and improved mobility features for the "Find Me Follow Me" application as well as the conferencing applications and the ability for the BCM customers to add teleworkers to their system.
"The IP Office Release 6.1 provides partners like us with new capabilities that will save a significant amount of time," commented Paul Blundell, managing director of voice and data network specialist iQual. "Time is money when we have a lot of clients to install and support. This latest release not only introduces new capabilities for small business customers but also continues to make IP Office easier to sell and manage. From a partner perspective, it also understands what we need to serve this sector effectively."
According to a recent SMB survey by IT trade association CompTIA, even as most midmarket companies (61 percent) believe technology is key to staying competitive, more than half (54 percent) believe cost-savings are the main driver for new technology adoption. The survey found a significant majority of U.S. SMBs (80 percent) are looking for technology solutions that "deliver immediate payback in terms of minimum disruption of business continuity and seamless integration with existing solutions."