Avaya Adds Low Cost VOIP PhonesBy Paula Musich | Posted 05-21-2007
Avaya at Interop on May 21 will target two types of voice over IP buyers with a new IP PBX system designed for enterprises with many branch offices and a new line of low-cost IP Phones.
Avaya's new Avaya Distributed Office System distributes call processing out to individual branches, but gives IT operators centralized management and control of those systems. It can provide retailers, financial services organizations and other highly distributed organizations with a consistent set of IP Telephony functions and scale up to 1,000 branch offices.
"This is the first branch solution designed for the distributed enterprisethose enterprises that are by design branch-based, such as retail organizations with thousands of stores, financial services organizations with hundreds or thousands of branches or offices," said Steve Hardy, director of global product marketing at Avaya in Basking Ridge, N.J.
The Avaya Distributed Office System uses industry standard Session Initiation Protocols to distribute call processing to each location. The use of SIP enables the IP PBX to work with any SIP-enabled phone, including the new Avaya one-X Deskphone Value Edition line of IP phones.
Hardy said Avaya in its own research found that in large enterprises, about 90 percent of employees work outside corporate headquarters. "But most solutions are not designed with the needs of the branch in mind, so we provided a set of features really targeted at the branch worker and the needs of the IT manager managing a network of individual branches," he said.
Such features include click to conference, integrated instant messaging as well as basic key system features most employees are familiar with such as coverage path for incoming calls, speed dial numbers for individual employees, assigned number prefixes for inter-branch calling and so on.
Users in fact access the functions with a touch-tone keypad, which can help reduce the amount of training required to use the system.
For the IT manager Avaya created a single interface for provisioning moves, adds and changes and for upgrading either individual or all branch networks. To speed deployment, the Avaya Distributed Office can be configured according to the needs of the organization at the factory and shipped pre-configured to each site.
"The IT manager can program all the features of a location or type of location in advance and click to drop ship that onto the site," said Hardy.
The system, made up of Avaya hardware and software, comes in two versions. The i40 supports up to 40 users and the i120 supports 120 users. It is due May 29 and starts at $350 per user.
Avaya with the new Avaya one-X Deskphone Value Edition IP phones will up the ante for IP phone makers by bundling in higher end features in a lower cost phone line.
The three new IP phones in the line use dual LED indicators and fixed feature buttons for transfer, hold, conference and so on combined with softkeys, a navigation wheel and in certain models a context-sensitive user interface. They also include two-way speakerphones and multi-line functions.
To make it easy for users familiar with typical key system functions, Avaya included fixed keys for the most commonly used functions.
Not only do the phones offer more competitive pricing they range from $139 to $299they can also reduce operating, training and administrative costs, believes early user Jeff Welsh, senior technical support specialist in the State of Maine's Office of Information Technology in Augusta.
"I could just take a Value Edition phone and replace it with somebody's digital phone and they wouldn't know otherwise. As far as deployment goes, with a lot of them we can just hand the phones out and have them plug their phone into their computer. So administration and set up costs are lower. And with the IP set we can cut our in-house wiring down by half," he said.
The three new models include the 1602 entry level phone with backlit display and key system type interface priced at $139. The 1608 is a mainstream, full-featured phone aimed at the majority of users and the 1616 is intended for use by a receptionist or any type of heavy phone user.
"All three are designed as basic, but high quality phones for customers who are the most cost sensitive," said Hardy.
The new Value Edition phones are due in June.
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