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Avaya's 9600 Series One-X IP Phones

Once saddled with a reputation for complexity, voice over IP is now becoming easier to use. Avaya's new 9600 series one-X IP phones have high-quality voice codecs and well-designed, context-sensitive menus to improve the end-user VoIP experience.

Avaya isn't the only vendor to tackle these areas. Polycom offers context-sensitive menus on its phones, Siemens has a similar peer-to-peer solution, and many telephony vendors offer soft clients for mobile phones. Avaya's dominant market position in North America, however, lends additional force to these technological advancements.

Avaya 9600 series one-X IP phones eliminate the plethora of hard keys found on many IP and standard phones, to make the most of small-screen displays using context-sensitive menus. This simplicity, in addition to support for the G.722 codecs for improved audio quality, makes the benefits of VoIP phones more accessible and reduces the overall cost of using phone equipment. Avaya's strategy also includes easier PBX installation through the company's peer-to-peer Quick Edition IP PBX system.

IP phones often lack the sound quality users expect from a new phone system. The phones' complex hard-key configurations make it difficult to implement the full range of VoIP features and functionality. IP phones should be easy to use and lend themselves to an intimate, rich experience.

Avaya is not the first to make use of context-sensitive menus to overcome small-screen real estate problems and cluttered telephone user interfaces. Cisco 9620 IP phones and Polycom Soundpoint IP phones both make good use of context. Avaya's 9620 and 9630 IP phones bring the company up to par with industry leaders, and up the ante with the wideband audio codec.

Avaya 9620, $395; Avaya 9630


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