Avaya Updates Partners On IP Telephony Product Strategy


Avaya executives Thursday took the wraps off several forthcoming IP telephony products for SMB and large enterprise customers for solution providers attending the Catalyst Telecom BusinessPartner Conference 2003 here.

"They're delivering on the new product development they talked about in dealer meetings two and three years ago. They're delivering on those promises," said conference attendee Bill Dugdale, chairman of Dugdale Communications, a solution provider based in Indianapolis, Ind.

Among the new products is IP Office 1.4, the latest version of Avaya's all-in-one IP communications system, scheduled for general availability June 16.

The upgrade will include enhanced conferencing and call center capabilities as well as more aggressive pricing, said Dave Johnson, vice president of the Small and Medium Business Solutions Group at Avaya, Basking Ridge, NJ.

The company also expects by the end of the year to introduce Small Office, a new IP communications product, which will include embedded VPN and wireless capabilities as well as support for a mix of digital, analog and IP handsets for up to 16 users, Johnson said.

"It will scale way down to very small customers, even executives working from home," he said.

For enterprise clients, Avaya plans in November to introduce several new products, including a new media server, two new media gateways and a new IP System Interface card, said Con Griffin, director of Avaya's Converged Systems and Applications Group.

The new products will increase the survivability of Avaya systems for customers using a mix of IP and legacy handsets and give Avaya a decided technology edge over its competitors, solution providers said.

"Cisco can't do anything like this," said attendee Jeff Hiebert, president and CEO of ROI Networks, a solution provider in San Juan Capistrano, Calif.

Avaya also plans to incorporate support for Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), an emerging call control standard, into its Communication Manager IP telephony system software, Griffin said.

The conference, put on by Catalyst Telecom, a distributor of Avaya's IP telephony products, will run through Friday.