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Avaya Expands IP Telephony Portfolio

Avaya this month expanded its IP telephony portfolio with the launch of a new line of IP phones that promise a sleeker, more intuitive interface, provide high-fidelity sound and feature built-in support for XML applications.

IP

The first two models of the new Avaya one-X Deskphone Edition family of 9600-series phones will ship in July, including the 9620 IP Telephone for general everyday users and the 9630 IP Telephone aimed at power users who require top-level mobility and collaboration features.

Two other models are planned for January 2007, including the 9650 IP Telephone for employees such as executive assistants who regularly monitor and make calls on behalf of other users, and the 9610 IP Telephone for walk-up users in lobbies or other public locations.

Avaya designed its new phones to make them more intuitive, adding on-screen instructions and prompts to guide customers through activities such as call transfer or multiparty conferencing, said Saied Seghatoleslami, vice president of product management for the communications appliances division at Avaya, Basking Ridge, N.J. With the new design and user interface, customers should get more out of their Avaya VoIP systems because now it's easier to tap into the advanced features, Seghatoleslami said. "These are standard Communication Manager features, but you couldn't easily get at them before," he said.

Mike Taylor, CTO and vice president of emerging technology at Avaya solution provider Strategic Products and Services, Cedar Knolls, N.J., said the new phones add more context-sensitive capabilities that should help users navigate easily through features. "It's more like a cell phone," he said.

A vendor's lineup of IP phones can help influence potential VoIP sales, he said.

"Often in cases where we're dealing with customers looking at new systems, the people who look at it at the technical level may not pay that much attention [to the phones], but when you get to the people that are spending the money and have to use them every day, it matters," Taylor said.

All of the 9600 series phones work with version 3.0 or higher of Avaya Communication Manager, the vendor's VoIP platform. The telephones include high-fidelity handsets and headsets, a high-resolution, grayscale back-lit display and support for Power over Ethernet. Color displays also are on the road map for the 9600 series for 2007, Seghatoleslami said.

The 9620 supports up to 12 line appearances and includes 10/100 Ethernet switching capabilities, a USB interface and an interface for forthcoming modules to add functionality such as Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. It is priced at $395.

The 9630 adds support for up to 24 line appearances, high-fidelity wideband speakerphone capabilities, support for Avaya's 24-button module and a button for easy access to mobility features.It is priced at $525.

The phones also include an integrated interface for Wireless Markup Language, which is based on XML, providing an opportunity for solution providers to develop applications to target a wide variety of customer needs, Seghatoleslami said.

"This is a place where the channel can get creative and differentiate themselves. Resellers can help customers understand how they can become more productive," he said.

Several applications already are available for the new phones from Avaya development partners, including a suite of directory, broadcast alerts, click-to-call and text messaging applications from Citrix Systems, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; an inventory look-up application from CalAmp, Oxnard, Calif.; and student-roll-call and classroom communications software from Millenigence, Irvine, Calif.

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