In response to Nortel dealers’ requests, Avaya Inc. has included features and pricing targeted to very small businesses with less than 20 employees among the enhancements in IP Office 6.0.
Joe Scotto, Avaya’s director of product and solutions marketing for global small and medium enterprise markets, told PHONE+ the Nortel dealers that Avaya acquired along with the late 2009 acquisition of the Nortel Enterprise business unit have asked the gearmaker for an IP Office strategy for the very small business segment where Nortel was strong with the BCM 50 and Norstar systems. “IP Office now is on par or better than those pricewise for the sub-20 market,” he said.
With this new release, Avaya has reduced the price of its Essential Edition from $795 for IP Office 5.0 to $50 for IP Office 6.0. Scotto said this price reduction is made possible in part by a change in the form factor. Previously, the Essential Edition required a license and a flash card; the new version requires only an SD card addition to the IP Office 500 server.
In fall 2009 Avaya 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.
In addition, a new “combination card,” which provides support for digital, analog and IP devices also enable small business with more flexibility at a lower cost, he said.
Scotto said in addition to price concessions, the system gives very small businesses the features they are used to buying plus access to unified communications functionality.
Among the other new features is the addition of an Office Worker user profile to the original profiles — Teleworker, Mobile Worker and Power User – originally defined for the Preferred Edition of IP Office 5.0. In addition, video softphone capability has been added with no fee increase to the Teleworker and Power User profiles through an enhancement to the Avaya one-X Portal for IP Office, which lets users manage communications via a Web-based interface (using a VPN and PC/phone combination).
The simplified selling approach introduced with IP Office 5.0 also has had an added benefit of speeding the onboarding for the Nortel dealers, Scotto added.
Release 6.0 also adds fully-integrated instant messaging with embedded voice calling capabilities, as well as presence to show availability via status icons. 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. Another key Avaya IP Office improvement includes doubling support capacity in a multisite network to 1,000 users.