Avaya Unveils IP Communications Suite

The Avaya MultiVantage Communications Applications suite will become an umbrella for Avaya's portfolio of telephony, contact center, messaging and unified communication applications, said Mark Leathurby, director of solutions management at Avaya, based here.

Avaya's call-processing upgrade, Communication Manager 1.3, increases the capacity of the vendor's midrange IP PBX, the S8300 Media Server, to 450 end points, up from 250. With the upgrade, the S8300 can also support up to 50 media gateways.

The capacity increase for the S8300 will give Avaya's channel partners more economical options when selling to midsize customers, said Michael Taylor, vice president of emerging technology at Strategic Products and Services, a solution provider in Cedar Knolls, N.J.

"There are a lot of opportunities where we would have had to propose a larger switch but now can promote a smaller one that's more cost-effective," Taylor said.

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The software upgrade also increases the scalability of Avaya's S8700 Media Server to support 250 gateways, up from 30, Avaya said. In addition, it adds encryption as a standard feature and includes updated administration tools.

Avaya also plans to introduce two extension applications to Communication Manager: Avaya Speech Access and Avaya Universal Access-Phone Status.

Speech Access provides voice-activated call control for functions such as dialing from corporate directories, call conferencing, transfer, forward and send. In addition, remote users can dial into a central phone number to place calls from phones outside the office through a company's IP telephony system, which cuts down on toll charges and simplifies management, said Lawrence Byrd, convergence strategist at Avaya. "It's an alternative to all of us sending in huge bills for our cell phones and home phones," he said.

Speech Access includes a subset of the functionality offered through an existing application called Avaya Speech Access for Unified Messenger, which also provides speech-based access to voice mail and e-mail.

In an effort to familiarize users with the voice-activated technology, Avaya is including 200 Speech Access licenses with Communication Manager 1.3.

The second new application, Avaya Universal Access-Phone Status, converts textual message and status change cues, such as caller ID and message waiting, to audio cues for sight-impaired users. The application is included free with Communication Manager 1.3.

A typical Avaya IP telephony solution, including software, hardware and phones, costs $200 to $600 per user.