Avaya, Inc. today released Avaya IP Office Release 6.1. Avaya IP Office is the company’s flagship communications solution for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). The new version delivers a host of business collaboration and customer service enhancements that can improve ease-of-use and worker productivity for SMB workers, while introducing significant new efficiencies for businesses. I had a conference call and demo with Avaya executives to find out what would be in the latest version of IP Office.
The new Avaya IP Office now has an easy single DVD bootable install running Linux and comes with key applications already installed. Previously, a business partner had to install the OS and IP Office applications from several sources via multiple DVDs. They claim you can install an office <20 users in under 30 minutes thus reducing TCO. Software installation times have been cut by 75% compared with the prior version according to Avaya.
The web-based Avaya one-X Portal for IP Office was redesigned and features a customizable interface with ‘drag and drop’ application “gadgets”. The application which lets users manage calls, IMs and e-mails from one PC-based portal now allows users to place gadgets (i.e. Directory, Call Log, etc.) wherever they want on their screen. Further customization includes ‘skins’ and branding with the SMB’s business name.
Avaya IP office v6.1 sports improved Contact Center reporting. It analyzes all calls flowing and makes them viewable on a geographic map. This provides a visual report of the volume of customer interaction according to their location. Another new contact center feature is forced state, where a supervisor can force an agent to become available if for example they notice their status has been set to unavailable for too long or there is a huge spike in call volume.
V6.1 offers expanded video options. It now supports advanced multi-point HD videoconferencing with up to 4 parties (requires the Avaya 1040 Video Conferencing System). Additionally, it enables video integration with selected third-party SIP phones, including the Polycom VVX and the Grandstream GVX3140.
Another feature they touted was its "Multi-site Management". SMBs can manage multiple office sites using one consolidated interface. This requires a single log-in to view and manage communications parameters (i.e. user rights, hunt groups) of multiple locations (up to 32 sites), which is another TCO improvement
Avaya IP Office Roadmap Progress
The company also completed significant elements of its Avaya IP Office roadmap, post the Avaya-Nortel Enterprise Systems (NES) merger. This includes interoperability with NES platforms and phones, including the Business Communications Manager (formerly NES’ SME offering) and CS1000 systems, and the BCM 1100 and 1200 series IP desk phones. With a lot of legacy Nortel IP phones out there, this is a huge selling point for Avaya. An Avaya-branded release of Business Communications Manager (version 6.0) features new remote and mobility capabilities and Web-based conferencing options.