Avayas Flare Ignites UC User Experience

Collaborative communications vendor Avaya has redesigned the UC user experience with a new technology offering that incorporates all communications tools onto what the company calls one easy-to-use, touch-screen interface.

The Avaya Flare Experience incorporates video, voice and text into one unified environment. Users can access voice, video, social media, presence, IM, conferencing, context history and multiple directories from one screen, much like other UC tools.

But its touch-screen interface enables users to initiate videoconferences and audioconferences by dragging-and-dropping contacts into a “spotlight” while also being able to use UC tools simultaneously.

Whats more, Flare is delivering via a new Avaya desktop tablet device featuring an 11.6-inch screen, a camera, native video and Harman Kardon speakers. The Desktop Video Device can be used on the desktop with an optional base station, or the user can carry it around for mobile collaboration. It runs on the Android operating system, so users can download additional apps onto the device.

For certain uses, this device changes the way you behave,” said Lawrence Byrd, director of UC architecture at Avaya. There is a lot more you can consume or do on a device like this. You dont need a phone or an extra speakerphone or specialized video device to be able to communicate, so youre not tied to your desk. This [device] is designed to consolidate those communication devices.”

The technology running the Avaya Flare Experience integrates with Avayas Aura communications platform, which the company debuted last year. We are keen to put in place a next-generation communications architecture for our customers,” Byrd said. A year ago we announced Aura and earlier this year we released updates to Aura, and now were back to thinking about how users communicate and collaborate. Today there is a lot of capability on the back end, but there hasnt been much on the front end. People are using different tools for different tasks. We want to change that experience.”

In addition to supporting SIP, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, the tablet features a VPN gateway, USB port, HDMI connection for monitors and a three-hour-plus battery life. Future versions will have VPN software built in, Byrd said.

Avaya also announced a family of solutions for video-enabled collaboration, including the Avaya 1000 series of videoconferencing systems, providing SIP-based video in sizes ranging from an executive phone system to a large conference room. The 100 series works with the Flare Experience, SIP video and H.323 systems.

Avaya plans to make the Flare Experience available for a number of devices, including PCs, laptops and smart phones. Current Aura, Communication Manager and Modular Messaging users as well users of other manufacturers communication systems can add the Flare Experience via the Avaya Collaboration Server, a single server with all the components of Avaya Aura 6.0 that can support up to 50 endpoints.

The Flare Experience with the Desktop Video Device is list priced at $3,750, and availability is slated for the fourth quarter.

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