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Avaya Pushes IP Office as Alternative to Cloud-Based UC Platforms

The company is adding security and resiliency functionalities in the IP Office release 10 that officials say aren't found in pure-cloud solutions.

UC collaboration

Avaya is adding greater security and resiliency capabilities in its unified communications offering for smaller businesses that company officials say are seeing an increase in the number of attacks.

The company this week unveiled Avaya IP Office release 10, which includes built-in signaling and media encryption between endpoints and unified communications (UC) clients that will protect privacy and data integrity. Avaya officials also said the new security capabilities can serve as an alternative for SMBs that are increasingly looking at cloud-based offerings as their best option for collaboration solutions.

"The challenge of keeping up with growing, ever-changing cybersecurity threats is daunting—especially for small and midsize businesses with budget and resource constraints," Gary Barnett, senior vice president and general manager of engagement solutions at Avaya, said in a statement, adding that "it's these very constraints that increase the inclination to choose cloud-based services; however, it's also not a given fact that security is or will be provided by their cloud vendor."

That led Avaya officials to offer built-in security capabilities in Avaya IP Office, Barnett said.

UC and video conferencing continue to be important to enterprises, but not all are embracing an all-cloud approach to collaboration, according to IHS analysts. Instead, they're taking a more hybrid approach, keeping some applications in the cloud and other parts on premises, the analysts said in a report in April. Twenty-seven percent of respondents to a survey said they are running their UC solutions on a private cloud and 23 percent deploy UC-as-a-service, while the rest keep collaboration technologies on premises.

According to Avaya officials, the new functionality in IP Office—which is offered for free to users—provides capabilities that aren't found in cloud-only solutions, including system failover in cloud-to-cloud, cloud-to-premises, premises-to-cloud and premises-to-premises environments. All these enable users to keep their communications going throughout any outages, officials said.

In addition, Avaya is adding the H175 video phone with the IP Office Platform. The 7-inch phone comes with a high-definition touch-screen display and can be used in everything from executive offices to conference rooms. The enhanced solution also includes several APIs designed to make it easier for developers to create WebRTC-based clients as well as streamline virtual meeting capabilities.