With simplicity for customers and the channel in mind, Avaya Inc. announced Monday the launch of version 5 of Avaya IP Office, its business telephony offer for small and medium businesses.
With the new release, both selling and buying IP Office has been simplified, explained Joe Scotto, Avaya’s director of product and solutions marketing for global small and medium enterprise markets.
Most notably, the company is now offering six role-based solutions tailored to employee job model, such as “teleworker,” “mobile worker” and “customer service agent.” In this way, partners can more easily sell the solution without having to decipher the many application options that such users would require. The customer, likewise, has a clear understanding of what applications it is buying and for which employees.
“We have walked away from the technology speak,” said Scotto. “There is no need for translation.”
Secondly, Avaya has defined three group collaboration options – “essential” with basic capabilities for smaller organizations (30 employees or fewer), “preferred” for most other organizations, and “advanced” for call center/customer service organizations.
Thirdly, Avaya now offers one hardware platform for IP Office, the IP Office 500 server, which supports up to 384 users. Scotto said over the last few years, Avaya has “end of saled” the IP Office 406, 403 and the Small Office edition servers. Now, with the introduction of release 5, the 412 is being “end of saled” as well. Scotto said this is possible because the 500 platform is modular. However, release 5 software can be used on existing 406v2 and 412 servers.
Furthermore, Scotto said the product ordering codes have been reduced from more than 100 to 14.
As a result of the simplifications, the company is championing “one-page” sales proposals, Scotto said. It’s basically five line items:
There also are other options, such as applications from DevConnect partners, and financing programs. But, Scotto said partners can learn to sell IP Office 5 in a day.
Among the other new features of IP Office 5 is an increase in conferencing capacity, which has been doubled from one to two 64-party bridges, and third-party SIP phone support, Scotto said.
Additionally, Scotto said customers with multiple sites can use IP Office 5 to enable servers at alternate sites to keep an IP communications network – including phones and voice mail – operating in the event of an outage. This eliminates the need to have a second system at a site solely for continuity purposes, reducing hardware and labor costs. “There’s no idle hardware; it’s all done with software and is a unique way of doing it,” Scotto said.