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Avaya Updates IP Office Communication Appliance

Version 6.1 makes it easy for an SMB to manage employee phone calls, videoconferences, instant messages, and text messages.

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IP Office 6.1 supports Nortel phones, reflecting Avaya's recent acquisition of Nortel. "A Nortel customer migrating to IP Office can plug their Nortel phones directly into the system, preserving their investment in this gear," said Bartolo.

IP Office 6.1 now also has improved multi-site management capability. An IT administrator can manage multiple office sites -- parameters such as user rights and hunt groups -- all in one graphical view, rather than needing a separate window for each site. Also, IP Office 6.1 can now be put into a mixed environment with other Avaya communications systems like the Business Communications Manager IP/TDM PBX.

Avaya has redesigned the user interface for its one-X Portal for IP Office web-based call/message management interface for mobile, home-based, and office workers. The new UI includes drag and drop application gadgets, like Directory and Call Log, that users can place wherever they want on their screen. Also, one-X Portal now supports skins that let the company brand the display. "Users can now customize their view -- where the gadgets appear on the screen, and change the layout and sizes of the display portions," said Bartolo.

Improved videoconferencing options in IP Office 6.1 include supporting multi-point high-definition videoconferencing with up to four parties, and video integration with selected third-party SIP phones, according to the company.

Competition in this space, according to Bartolo, includes Cisco, Mitel, Panasonic, and Shoretel. However, claimed Bartolo, "We're the only provider supporting the entire SMB segment -- from five users and one site, to 1,000 users and 32 sites -- with one single product, platform, and model, versus having five to 25 products to span it."

Version 6.1 of Avaya IP Office is scheduled to be available by the end of November. Pricing is unchanged from that of the previous version, and depends on the features and number of users; for example, a 10-user system, including typical applications and phone hardware, has an MSRP of around $4,000. For existing IP Office customers, version 6.1 is available as an upgrade, via software download, MSRP $199 ($99 for companies with fewer than 32 users).

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