Business collaboration and communications solutions specialist Avaya announced the latest version of its unified communications solution for small and midsize enterprises, IP Office 8.1, which boasts mobility, management and security features, as well as custom-built services, designed to help organizations adapt to bring-your-own-device initiatives.
The latest version of the platform also offers vastly improved scalabilityIP Office now scales up to 1,000 users in a single location, up from 384 for the previous iteration. Other features include the Flare Communicator mobility application, which allows business-class calling, presence, company directory search, and management of two simultaneous calls on Apple iPad tablets or Windows-based laptops. The app also lets users drag and drop available contacts into a spotlight, and launch instant messages, voice calls or emails by tapping the screen.
Enhanced security features are expected to be available later this year, specifically, the ability to encrypt media and signaling connections without using a virtual private network (VPN) for UC, and protection against toll fraud, denial of service attacks, and other threats through use of a new SME version of the companys Session Border Controller, which delivers a session initiation protocol (SIP)-based firewall.
"With each version of Avaya IP Office, we've seen UC delivered to SMEs with rising levels of simplicity and cost-savings, combined with increasingly sophisticated features, said Rob Arnold, program manager of unified communications and collaboration at Frost and Sullivan. IP Office 8.1 continues on this path and scales upward -- helping more growing SMEs, midsize companies and Avaya partners easily gain the benefits of enterprise-class collaboration."
The platform can also be paired with Avaya's recently introduced ERS 3500 switches to automate network set-up and is now available for iPhone devices. Rounding out the package are SSL-VPN capabilities embedded in IP Office 8.1 to help ensure secure delivery of upgrades, patches and Web-based services, and IP Office Support Service for technical support from experts and secure remote access.
"As a growing windshield installation company -- with 18 locations and a busy contact center operation -- we require a reliable communications system that supports the highest levels of customer service. Avaya IP Office 8.1 helps us by enabling large volumes of call flows to move smoothly, and providing a great way to manage communications across all locations, Rick Maciel, business systems manager for Techna Glass, said in a prepared statement. We also plan to use IP Office's mobility capabilities in new ways, with features such as chat and presence via iPhone keeping mobile workers connected, and headquarters employees in touch with branch stores.