iPad Gets Avaya's Flare Communicator TechnologyBy Chris Talbot | Print
Avaya's Flare Communicator mobile collaboration application, originally designed for the Avaya tablet, will now be available on Apple's iPad.
Avaya is extending Flare Communicator technology beyond its own Flare tablet hardware, beginning with the launch of a version of the software for the popular Apple iPad tablet. The announcement of the iPad version of the user interface follows on prior announcements of PC and smartphone versions.
The mobile collaboration application is available to iPad users via the Apple App Store for free. Until April 30, customers can receive free Avaya Aura client licenses for up to 50 clients. The licenses will give them the ability to connect iPad users to Flare Communicator. To take advantage of the offer, customers need to be using Aura 6.1 or later. At the end of the initial promotion, licenses will carry a list price of $100 per user.
The launch of Avaya Flare Communicator for Apple iPad tablets follows on the ever increasing popularity of the iPad, but it’s only a start when it comes to deploying Flare Communicator on tablet devices.
"What we’re doing is extending our range of mobile clients that empower people wherever they are," said Lawrence Byrd, director of collaboration solutions at Avaya.
The application provides the secure mobile collaboration, including enterprise-class voice, instant messaging and presence with email integration on Wi-Fi and 3G networks. According to Byrd, it really makes the iPad a useful communications and collaboration tool within the enterprise, no matter whether the enterprise or the worker has purchased the device.
"Bringing it out on the iPad makes it easier for mobile workers to set up an office anywhere and have access to phone, instant messaging and presence through the corporate communications environment," Byrd said.
Designed specifically for enterprise deployments, Flare Communicator provides several benefits and capabilities over and above what’s available on consumer mobile devices. With Flare Communicator, enterprise iPad users will have the ability to view the availability of associates from the contacts card and contact them in the method of their choice with a simple tap on of the screen, manage two simultaneous voice calls, multi-task using other applications while communicating, and search the corporate directory and associates to the Flare Communicator contacts fan for easy access.
"Businesses are deciding that the tablet format is very valuable. We see that in financial services, in healthcare, and even organizations that are traditionally conservative are deploying iPads," Byrd said.
Other growing markets for the iPad include universities and other educational institutions, he added. In many cases, the trend is flowing upwards from workers who are bringing their own iPads into the enterprise and expecting to be connected to the company network, but in other cases, enterprises are the ones making the purchases and deploying iPads to their employees.
As a consumer mobile device, there are concerns about security – both on the corporate network and while roaming to unsecured wi-fi hotspots.
"Part of our overall solution is to make sure that it’s secure and controllable," Byrd said.
According to Byrd, Avaya’s channel partners have been enthusiastic about the launch of a version of Flare Communicator for the iPad."We’ve been working for many months in betas and trials, and prior to the announcement, we had over 4,000 downloads. Our partners are very enthusiastic about how to empower people, how to deal with the increasing mobile and distributed workforce, and how to tackle bring-your-own-device trends. These are good conversations to have with their customers and a conversation many customers want to have," Byrd said.