Enterprise Apps

Avaya Caters to SMBs With Kinder, Simpler IP Office Release

Avaya has launched Avaya IP Office, a new version of its flagship product line targeting the SMB space. Changes to the product, now in version 5, include new configurations for certain user roles, such as customer service agent or mobile worker, as well as new functionality.

At the same time, the company has streamlined the product and its implementation by organizing it on one platform.

“We have greatly simplified the platform and the way that the IP Office is sold in terms of how it is packaged and priced,” Joe Scotto, director of small and medium enterprise communications, told CRM Buyer.

Bigger Capacity

The major changes are the six new role-based configurations — which can be accessed via a browser if the user wants — and the consolidation of multiple hardware configurations into one higher-capacity hardware platform, Scotto explained.

IP Office can now support 384 users, up from 272, he noted. Also, conferencing capacity has been doubled from one to two 64-party bridges.

To handle that capacity, Avaya has designated IP Office 500 server the company’s single server offering for the SME market. Version 5 software, however, can also be used on existing IP406v2 and IP412 IP Office servers.

Other features in Version 5 include an automatic rerouting to an alternative IP Office server site in the event of an outage, as well as new Web applications for unified communications and customer service.

These include one-X Portal for Avaya IP Office, a communications portal for PCs that gives workers real-time call control, presence and call logs; and Customer Call Reporter, which tracks customer service progress and agent productivity. Alarms in the system to help administrators react to issues in real-time.

Role-Based Configurations

The change that’s being greeted with the most enthusiasm is the addition of user-specific configurations including Power User, Mobile Worker, Teleworker, Receptionist, Customer Service Supervisor and Customer Service Agent.

The user interface has been customized for these roles, with all the industry-specific functionality, Scotto said.

For example, in the Receptionist version, there is click-and-drag call handling that helps improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the operator, even with large call volumes. Also, centralized call management allows user to transfer calls between locations, add people to conferences, and manage voice mail messages for associates.

The Teleworker application’s presence features let users “see” other workers’ status: who’s on the phone, away from their desk, busy, etc. It also records, archives and replays calls.

The product comes in an Essential Edition, Preferred Edition and Advanced Edition.

The role-based configurations are a key differentiator for Avaya, compared to competing products for SMBs, Deepinder Sahni, senior vice president with AMI-Partners, told CRM Buyer. “It makes it easier for users to leverage the benefits of their investment in the technology, he said.

A Web-based portal allows users to do the necessary configuration, which gives management better control over the process, observed Robin Gareiss, executive vice president and senior founding partner at Nemertes Research.

Overall, the new product is a positive move for Avaya, she told CRM Buyer. “By consolidating capacity on one platform, plus adding new features, Avaya has made it simple to buy and deploy.”

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