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Avaya Amps Up VoIP Strategy

Avaya CEO Kevin Kennedy

Avaya CEO Kevin Kennedy

With Nortel Networks muddling through bankruptcy protection and Cisco making waves in the server world, Avaya believes it can grow by sharpening its focus on voice over IP. This week, the company plans to announce the next generation of its VoIP platform, now called Aura.

As VoIP has matured, many companies have found themselves patching together global networks of various legacy and IP phone systems, managing and administrating each separately. Before the recession, a wave of VoIP consolidation began, but expensive rip-and-replace initiatives slowed to a crawl, forcing companies to look for new ways to save on communications.

Enter Avaya and new technology that's part of Aura. Instead of requiring each link in a company's enterprise telecom network connect to each other link just to communicate with one another, features called System Manager and Session Manager act as one-stop shops to connect and manage every element centrally.

These will greatly ease the connecting of elements such as multiple contact centers, multiple PBXs, and IP PBXs, video and collaboration apps, and load balancers. Indeed, the new features mean that one administrator working centrally will be able to, for example, set up a global dial plan across branches and subsidiaries, manage least-cost routing, and centralize resources such as voice mail, audioconferencing, and call center software.

"Communication moves from being a connection to a federation with applications and other resources on the network," new Avaya CEO Kevin Kennedy said in an interview. "This new era of SIP-based trunking and session initiation is actually a moment in time which will allow CIOs to address costs and footprint and make it easier to migrate from one generation of technology to another."

System Manager is the administrative tool to manage the entire VoIP system by way of Session Manager, which is a SIP server that all the different pieces of the system connect to. Session Manager, in essence, translates the different languages, flavors of SIP and otherwise, that the different pieces of the system speak, into one universal SIP language. That makes management easier and greatly reduces the number of expensive SIP and location-specific trunks a company needs. System Manager can even speak with non-SIP devices via SIP gateways.

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