Avaya Upgrades UC and CC Portfolio

Avaya has introduced upgrades to a number of its unified communications and contact center products that seek to extend its over all portfolio now bolstered by the acquisition of key Nortel Networks assets while maintaining strong channel partner loyalty to some of its flagship offerings. Avaya is selling these products, some of which are out now while others are slated for Q3, both directly and through its channel partners.

The centerpiece of the new releases is Avaya Aura, a unified communications platform for the enterprise, now revamped to speed up collaborative decision-making and lower communications costs. Avaya claims Aura can save the large enterprise roughly 23 percent in cape and 33 percent in opex (midsize enterprises can save even more), because of its enhanced security, scalability and flexibility, as well as a common management interface and support for full virtualization. The multimedia contact center applications complements the Avaya Aura Call Center Elite for the large enterprise by extending its multimedia capabilities, including voice, e-mail, Web chat, and IM/SMS.

On the contact center side, other Aura unit enhancements include Aura Conferencing, Standard Edition, which provides audio, video and Web conferencing on a single server; an Enterprise Edition, slated for later this year, will add more capacity features to support internal operator assistance, emergency blast dialing and other high-end functions, and integration with third-party UC applications from Microsoft, IBM and Adobe; Avaya Aura Messaging, which accesses and stores multimedia messages based on a Linux OS while adding new features such as speech-to-text and speech-based virtual assistants; Aura Presence Services, an open standards-based messaging service that interoperates with IBM Lotus Sametime, as well as IM and Presence agents from Microsoft, IBM, and Avayas own Communicator and SIP phones; Aura Session Manager 6.0, scalable to more than 100,000 users, as well as 50,000 SIP phones or video-enabled endpoints; and the Aura Communication manager 6.0, a server that can interconnect H.323 and TDM endpoints to SIP environments or act as a full SIP-based voice and video feature server.

Other products include the Aura Session Border Controller for SIP-based unified communications and secure network traversal; Aura System Manager 6.0, a single unified management systems that monitors presence services, conferring and messaging; Aura System Platform 6.0, a virtualization system that covers the entire Aura infrastructure; and the 9600 family of desk phones, a set of larger, cheaper phones with touch screen displays that use less power.

All of these new products and applications are backed up by Avaya advisory Services, a consulting program that not only helps design multi-vendor network and application deployments, but also taps into the companys roster of developers and channel partners. Avayas new Self-Funded Roadmap service focuses on not just highlighting costs savings from migrating to newer technologies but also business process improvements that help free up funding for further technology investments.

Avaya spent time with us to really understand our business challenges, and using their Self-Funded Roadmap, we improved our customer satisfaction scores, achieving a 40 percent reduction in call waiting times, and the ability to handle call volumes with 30 percent fewer agents, said Arnt Eirik Johnsen, controller customer operations at Scandinavian provider Ventelo. This has allowed us to re-invest in our business and improve customer service.

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