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Communications systems specialist Avaya introduced the latest
version of Avaya IP Office—the company’s communications solution for
small to medium-size businesses. Avaya IP Office Release 6.1
delivers a host of business collaboration and customer service
enhancements, including improved contact center reporting, expanded
video options and multisite management capability.

The solution’s dynamic Web-based desktop communications interface for
remote, mobile and office workers, one-X Portal for IP Office, features
a newly designed, customizable interface with drag and drop application
gadgets. The solution—which lets users manage calls, instant messages
and e-mails from one PC-based portal— allows users to place gadgets
(i.e., Directory, Call Log, etc.) wherever they want on their screen.
Further customization includes skins and branding with a business’
name.

Contact center reporting allows SMBs to gauge the success of a customer
campaign through location-based business intelligence that analyzes the
calls flowing into a contact center, and makes them viewable on a
geographic map. This capability provides a visual report of the volume
of customer interaction based on each customer’s location.

IP Office also offers enhanced videoconferencing capabilities, going
beyond softphone-based video to now offer more advanced multipoint HD
videoconferencing with up to four parties. Additionally, it enables video
integration with selected third-party SIP phones. With multisite
management, IT departments can now manage multiple office sites using
one consolidated interface and a single login. This ability lets users
view and manage all of key communications parameters (i.e., user rights,
hunt groups) of multiple locations (up to 32).

"Our vision is to bring all of the powerful collaboration capabilities
of big business to the SME community – without the complexity," said
Anthony Bartolo, general manager of SME communications with Avaya.
"With the latest release of Avaya IP Office, we are advancing on this
vision, while introducing new levels of savings driven through advanced
communications."

The latest version of the platform further expands upon its TCO (total cost
of ownership) value by enabling installation via a single DVD
containing the open standards-based Linux operating system and key
communications applications. Formerly, the OS and IP Office
applications had to be installed via several sources and multiple
DVDs. Additionally, when compared to other OS environments, Linux
does not require user licenses.

“Small and medium-sized businesses want the competitive edge that
real-time communications can deliver," said Alan Weckel, research
director at Dell’Oro Group, "They will seek out collaboration solutions
that are easy and cost-effective to install, manage and use. Those who
can deliver on these benefits will lead the next phase of
communications in the SMB space."