Communications vendor Avaya is betting unified communications will root deeper into business with a series of new products and offerings.

Avaya has released a slew of new products including the first media phone for enterprises, new low-power phones and a USB stick that enables users to make any compatible desk phone within the company their own.

The new phones, part of Avaya’s one-X series office desk phones, include the 9670G and the 9620L. Avaya is touting the 9670G as “the world’s first media phone for enterprises,” allowing direct access to applications and Internet-based information through a large color touch-screen. Both telephony and non-telephony information is accessible through the 9670G’s screen, including contact information and telecom tools when the phone is in use and as well as non-telephony applications when the phone is idle such as access to maps, a full QWERTY keyboard, weather conditions and a calculator. Other applications can be downloaded.

The 9620L is a low-power desk phone using only 2.2 watts of power, compared with the 6.3 to 12-watts used by similar phones, Avaya claims. The new model includes a color display and downloadable software.

Avaya is introducing MyPhone, software that can be downloaded to a USB drive that enables a user’s telephony features to be transferred onto and used with any 9600 series phone on an Avaya network. MyPhone stores users’ identity, associated features and preferences, which become the settings of any compatible phone the drive is plugged into, such as a conference room or visitor’s office, and calls to the user are directed to the phone using the MyPhone application. Users also can use the phone’s screen as a digital picture frame to display photos stored on the USB stick.

Avaya has teamed with mobile UC provider DiVitas Networks to integrate its mobile UC solution into Avaya’s Communication Manager and Modular Messaging offerings, offering a seamless network-to-cellular solution, according to Avaya.

The DiVitas UC solution works with Symbian- or Windows Mobile-based dual-mode handset, and will send and receive calls over an Avaya communications network. It provides one-number reach, mid-call management, presence availability and access to corporate directories, and users also will be able to access their Avaya voice mail using the DiVitas solution through integration with Modular Messaging.

"The phone enhancements are nice to haves, but strategically when you look at unified communications and mobility apps, the Divitas solution carries a lot of weight," said Dan Whalen, engineering director at Carousel Industries, a so in Exeter, R.I. "Now I’ve got a solution that allows me true dual-radio capability. I can do seamless roaming from my 802.11 network into my cellular network and vice versa."

The DiVitas technology requires Avaya’s Communication Manager 4.0 and SIP Application Server 4.0 or later, and currently works with AT&T and T-Mobile cellular networks. 

Whalen noted the solution is good for both multi-building campus and single-building environments where accessibility is crucial. "It comes down to the functions of people," he said. "I could be in one building but it might be critical that I be contacted. This enables me to have single-number service on every device."

Such new technologies are good selling points for companies looking to replace or enhance their existing network, Whalen said. "These are continued enhancements that might make the difference to a company considering a communications upgrade."