Unified communications specialst Avaya announced the release of IP Office 6.0, a UC solution offering collaboration tools such as voice, instant messaging, presence and video. IP Office 6.0 also introduces video collaboration through a new IP Office Video Softphone application. This offers voice control features via a virtual phone on a PC or laptop, supporting point-to-point video communications when visuals are required.
Avaya one-X Portal for IP Office lets users manage communications from a business office, home office or on the road via a user-friendly Web browser-based interface (using a VPN and PC/phone combination). The updated release adds fully integrated instant messaging with embedded voice calling and presence - boosting both the speed and responsiveness of inter-office communications among co-workers. Additionally, the audio conferencing feature, which allows up to 64 parties on a single call, now provides the ability to view, add, drop and mute attendees, as well as record conference calls.
"With Avaya IP Office 6.0 in place, small businesses don't have to sacrifice easy, intuitive operation in order to get the enhanced communications features of large enterprises," said Anthony Bartolo, general manager of Avaya's small and medium enterprise communications division. "Our latest version provides SMEs with all of the next generation collaboration tools necessary for competing more effectively today against peers and larger competitors-and for thriving as the economy recovers."
According to IDC, an international provider of market intelligence for information technology, companies with less than 20 employees account for more than 90 percent of small businesses worldwide. Bartolo said IP Office offers an affordable solution to this segment through a new 'combination card' - providing just a single card for what used to require several cards to support digital, analog and IP devices. This, paired with a new line of phones for businesses with less than 20 employees, reduces costs without compromising capability, he said.
"Now, the smallest businesses can gain access to the rich capabilities that were previously only available to larger companies," said Tom Roles, president of Avaya business partner NACR. "And with IP Office 6.0, the savings in money and time are formidable. For example, a 90 percent price reduction in voicemail, combined with the new combination card, can make a real difference for companies with less than 20 employees. And we estimate that the programming, set-up and training time provided to this segment can now be cut by 50 percent - to just half a day. This makes it much easier for business partners to deploy."