Avaya Rolls Out Grab Bag of IP Gear

The company is releasing a variety of hardware and software, including media gateways, servers, applications, upgraded management software and two new wireless IP phones.

Avaya Inc. Monday is rolling out a variety of new hardware and software to make Internet Protocol communications more secure, reliable and manageable. On the list of new goods are media gateways, servers, applications, upgraded management software and two new wireless IP phones.

Approximately 220 nurses and other personnel at Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, Ill., are using the new Model 3626 IP wireless phone, which was designed for industrial and institutional applications. With push-to-talk capability, the phone is used in the emergency room, surgery and anywhere else nurses need to communicate with doctors, said Sue Mesmer, communications supervisor at the center.

"They used to have to go to the nurses station to call a doctor," Mesmer said. "This increases efficiency. Theyre able to get answers for the patient more quickly."

The new Avaya phones operate on the centers wireless LAN from Cisco Systems Inc., which was installed initially to make it easier for nurses to enter information on laptop computers, Mesmer said.

Condell plans to connect the nurse call system to the phones so that they receive a text message when patients call, Mesmer said. Today, the call system rings only at the nurses station and a receptionist has to locate the nurse.

Mesmer said the medical centers $300,000 investment in the IP wireless telephony system will be returned in improved efficiency and patient welfare.

"The savings is really in time and customer satisfaction, and its so hard to put a dollar on that," she said.

The other new wireless IP phone from Avaya is a more compact model built for general enterprise use. Both are 802.11-ready and provide access to more than 700 communications features, the company said.

The Basking Ridge, N.J., manufacturer is also rolling out two wireline IP phone sets Monday—a midrange phone with a graphics display and Web-enabled capabilities, and a speakerphone with wide microphone coverage.

Upgraded management software, Communications Manager 2.0, provides enhanced encryption and new cell phone functions. Avaya champions the softwares support for the Advanced Encryption Standard and new IP signaling as better protecting voice calls and further guarding against hacking. As more employees use mobile phones, the software gives them access to more call handling functions, such as using the cell phone for multiparty conference calls and forwarding or transferring calls.

For the increasingly distributed work force, Avaya is launching new media gateways for small branch offices and medium-to-large-sized enterprises, allowing network managers to administer features across all sites with anywhere from 8 to 36,000 users, the company said. A new media server for medium-to-large-sized companies enables the delivery of more functions to branch offices.

New applications include an upgrade to the IP messaging platform, Modular Messaging 1.1, which provides IP connectivity to the Avaya Communication Manager. The latest version of the platform was built to make it cheaper and easier to deploy the system at multiple sites.