Avaya Rolls Out Videoconferencing For IP Office 8.1

Avaya Wednesday bulked up its midmarket portfolio with the launch of a new video collaboration platform for small and midsize enterprises (SMEs).

The new Avaya Video Collaboration Solution for IP Office will deliver, for the first time, video capabilities to users of IP Office, Avaya's midmarket-focused unified communications suite. The aim of the solution, Avaya said, is to provide SMEs with enterprise-grade video capabilities through a more affordable and device-agnostic approach.

"Small businesses would like to have a more comprehensive and more enterprise-like solution for SME. But the solutions that are out there are either too complex or too costly, or they are being forced to use consumer-grade solutions," said Stephane Lamarre, senior director, SME marketing at Avaya.

[Related: Avaya, Partners See Midmarket Momentum With IP Office 8.1 ]

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The new Avaya Video Collaboration Solution for IP Office is an on-premises solution, delivered through Avaya's XT Video Collaboration Server. It can support Mac and PC desktop clients, Android and iOS mobile clients, and HD room systems.

There are two versions of the XT Video Collaboration Server. The first supports desktop and mobile clients and will run for $5,500, Avaya said. The second model will sell for $3,000 more -- totaling $8,500 -- and include support for a full HD videoconferencing room system. The higher-end model also comes with room equipment, including a camera, remote control, digital microphone pod and cables, and, according to Avaya, is one of the more aggressively priced room systems on the market.

"A room system is considerably more than $3,000, so it's just an incredible value, and we think it’s a very interesting offering for partners selling to SME," said Roger Wallman, director of product marketing for Avaya’s video solutions.

To implement Avaya Video Collaboration Solution users must be running Avaya's IP Office version 8.1. There is direct integration, including a common dial plan, across the two products, Avaya said.

The Avaya Video Collaboration Solution supports a virtual conference room for up to eight participants at a time, along with click-to-join capabilities from mobile devices, desktops and standards-based room systems. An automatic firewall traversal also is included, allowing users to securely interact with conference participants outside their networks, along with capabilities for managing and adjusting bandwidth.

Avaya said the new Video Collaboration Solution for IP Office will help midmarket-focused solution providers round out their portfolios, while also encouraging enterprise-focused partners to take the midmarket leap.

"We're seeing some of what I would call our historical enterprise partners building out practices targeted at that midmarket, and this is going to be a key pog for them in that engine," said Brian Murray, vice president, SME Sales at Avaya.

Bill Xydias, director of marketing at Integration Partners, a Lexington, Mass.-based solution provider, said Avaya's new Video Collaboration Solution for IP Office seems like an ideal fit for his SME customers, given its flexibility and price.

"This provides an SME customer with the flexibility to collaborate and conduct business via video. It's also priced right for this space and scales to the customer's growth plan and needs," Xydias said. "Lastly, it provides a customer with one solution versus having to patch together a variety of third-party software that doesn’t integrate easily with their communications network."

To sell the new Video Collaboration Solution, Avaya partners must already be certified to sell its Scopia videoconferencing infrastructure and IP Office. According to Avaya's Murray, there are roughly 200 Avaya partners holding both these certifications today and 3,720 SME authorized partners around the globe.