Avaya's Small-Biz Misstep

Although Quick Edition IP telephony technology fills out a product line for Avaya, it may not make as much sense for its target audience.

April 6, 2006

2 Min Read
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VoIP vendor Avaya is courting small businesses and branch offices with its new one-X Quick Edition, IP telephony technology that promises simple installation and useful features, such as voice mail and conferencing. However, Quick Edition adoption may be slowed by call-quality issues.

Quick Edition lets customers plug up to 20 specially equipped Avaya IP phones into their Ethernet switches and have the phones locate and configure themselves over P2P and SIP. The result is an easy-to-install telephony network.

Call control and voicemail are distributed across the Avaya telephones, and the only other hardware requirement is a small gateway to access the PSTN. Should a phone fail, the user can recover voicemail and other features from backed-up images distributed across the other phones on the network. Phones start at $485.

Yet while Quick Edition fills out a product line for Avaya, it may not make as much sense for its target audience. In a large enterprise, IT will configure QoS and VLAN settings appropriately for VoIP on its networks, but that's not likely to be the case in smaller companies.

For one thing, small businesses are bound to have networks without QoS or VLAN technology deployed. And though most QoS problems may be masked by the capacity of a 100-Mbps switched LAN, given voice's importance to a company, neither small businesses nor Avaya would be wise to rely on bandwidth alone to ensure voice quality and continuity. A combination of file transfers, P2P applications and other technologies can easily consume enough bandwidth to compromise VoIP's sound quality. Appropriate measures must be taken to ensure the network's suitability for VoIP, whether through technology or, more likely, documentation. However, this would work against Quick Edition's message of easy deployment.In addition, Quick Edition is limited to single-site use. Jorge Blanco, vice president of strategic marketing, says customers can expect Avaya to provide multisite capabilities in a future release.

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