Avaya shifts high-end features to midsize-business communications platform

By , Network World |  Unified Communications, Avaya

Avaya is updating its IP Office communications platform for small businesses to add collaboration features from its enterprise-grade communication server, including Avaya Flare Experience desktop videoconferencing.

IP Office 7.0 being announced today delivers collaboration tools including presence, a soft client for personal devices that includes video support for personal and room video systems and support for mobile devices.

In addition, the new software includes support for Nortel small and midsize business phone gear from Nortel to enable smooth transition to Avaya's communication and collaboration system.

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The support means customers can replace Nortel Business Communications Manager (BCM) and Norstar phone systems with IP Office and use their existing Nortel handsets - a 40% to 60% savings over installing the Avaya system with all new phones, the company says.

The Agency Group, an international talent booking agency, is making such a transition from Nortel gear to IP Office, says Howie Gold, director of IT for the company. It's not only saving on the phones, but it is also able to reuse its Nortel BCM and Norstar gear in offices that relied on Centrex services before, unifying the international phone system, Gold says.

Using conferencing capabilities that come with the platform means no longer paying $400 to $500 per conference call to AT&T because it can be done in-house, he says. The IP Office/BCM/Norstar system supports four-digit dialing, which Gold says has prompted an increased in the amount of internal calls among employees at far-flung offices - a productivity boost, he says.

IP Office includes features to help automate the transition from the Nortel products to IP Office, Avaya says, including tools that automatically transition voicemails and greetings from BCM to the new system so the tasks don't have to be done manually.

Later this year, IP Office will be further upgraded to support Avaya Flare Experience desktop videoconferencing that integrates with larger room systems. Avaya also plans to port Flare to iPads as well as Android- and PC-based mobile devices, the company says.

Originally published on Network World |  Click here to read the original story.
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