Thursday, September 16, 2010

Avaya Transforms Business Collaboration - Innovative Video Solutions Make Real-Time Collaboration More Accessible and More Effective for Enterprises and End-Users



BASKING RIDGE, N.J. – Avaya, a global leader in enterprise communications systems, software and services, today announced the Avaya Flare™ Experience, an industry-first family of next-generation, real-time enterprise video communications and collaboration products and services that delivers unique collaboration capabilities and an intuitive end-user experience across video, voice and text.
  
The new products, which range from personal desktop to multi-screen room systems, make high-definition, low-bandwidth video collaboration accessible to more employees in more enterprises. In addition, the solutions operate at one-third of the cost, using significantly less bandwidth than competing solutions.

Based on Avaya Aura™, the first true Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)-based architecture, the new offering makes video calls and conferencing as easy as making a telephone call by using the same platform for both. Businesses integrate real-time video into their core Avaya Aura infrastructure for better control of costs, quality of service, administration and management. Adding video functionality to the network is as simple as adding video-capable endpoints, since no overlay network is required.

Today’s announcement marks a milestone for Avaya - and, indeed, the industry - as it transforms how companies communicate by providing open, flexible collaboration applications that help businesses streamline processes, make faster decisions and compete more effectively. The rollout is the latest delivery against the multi-phase product roadmap that Avaya introduced in January

To be fully productive, employees need to simply connect via easy-to-use, fully integrated video, voice and text capabilities,” Kevin Kennedy, president and CEO, Avaya said. “This is the heart of Avaya’s people-centric approach to collaboration and the means to faster, better results with less effort and a lower total cost of ownership. We’re delivering a more potent collaboration experience at one-third of the cost using substantially less bandwidth over other solutions today.”

Findings in a recent survey by Webtorials indicate use of video is expected to grow rapidly as the cost, ease of use and quality improves, with respondents projecting that the number of users who will make frequent use of videoconferencing will explode by 400 percent in the next two years. Currently, commonly noted obstacles to that collaboration include the high cost of equipment and bandwidth, the need for a special room, lack of integration with other applications and data sources and frequent, disruptive issues during videoconferencing sessions[1]. These barriers can be overcome by deployment of the following solutions:

The Avaya Flare Experience breaks down barriers between communications tools with a distinctive user interface for quick, easy access to desktop voice and video, social media, presence and Instant Messaging, audio/video/web conferencing, a consolidated view of multiple directories, context history and more. It features a central spotlight that highlights active or in-progress communications and initiating a communication session is as easy as touching-and-swiping one or more contacts from the directory into the spotlight. For text messages, a pop-up keyboard appears when a user taps a text-based icon under a contact’s photo. Developed on the Android™ operating system, the Avaya Flare Experience provides employees with:

  • An intuitive ‘touch and swipe’ user interface to communicate in any mode, check messages, schedule meetings and appointments, and receive alerts or reminders
  • Drag-and-drop voice and video calling and conferencing, with the ability to separate from a call for sidebar interactions via voice, email or IM, and subsequently rejoin the conference without interrupting the call in progress
  • A virtual ‘Rolodex’ that provides a singular view of multiple directories, including corporate and personal, Facebook, Twitter and others. Users flip through to find the person with whom they want to collaborate, see their availability, select the preferred mode of communication and launch the connection
  • The ability to download productivity and business applications, including the ever-growing set of Android-based tools

The Avaya Flare Experience is initially sold with the Avaya Desktop Video Device but will soon be made available for other environments, including PCs, laptops, tablet PCs and smartphones.

The Avaya Desktop Video Device has been developed for the Avaya Flare Experience as a cost-effective, video-enabled desktop collaboration endpoint for executive desktops or power communicators that can also perform as a customer kiosk. It features a large 11.6” HD touch screen, supported by a HD 720-pixel camera and HD-quality voice supported by built-in dual microphones. It will enable campus-wide mobility via SIP and WiFi and also offers USB connectivity for an optional keyboard or handset, 3G/4G access or a thumb drive. Upcoming versions will support remote access over VPN connections and 4G access.

The Avaya Flare Experience for Avaya 96x1 Series Desk phones provides voice, conference control, instant messaging and presence capabilities plus desktop integration with Microsoft Outlook for contact management. These latest capabilities enable the user to have a sidebar chat while talking on the phone or to find experts from a variety of directories.

The Avaya Collaboration Server provides all of the Avaya Aura 6.0 core functions on a single server, enabling businesses to take advantage quickly of the Avaya Flare Experience, Avaya Desktop Video Device and Avaya Video Conferencing Solutions over existing, multi-vendor H.323 and/or SIP communications systems or support initial deployments up to 50 users.

Avaya Video Conferencing Solutions range from individual employee desktop video to small group systems to large, multi-screen conference rooms. They are easy to deploy to any location with centralized operation and management via Avaya Aura, which offers bandwidth control and eliminates the need for an overlay video network. Avaya Video Conferencing Solutions include the Avaya one-X® Communicator Desktop, Avaya Video Systems (1010, 1020, 1030, 1040, 1050) for workgroup through to multi-party conferencing, and Avaya Videoconferencing Manager 6.0.

Avaya Professional Services for Video offer a menu of consulting services to help ensure smooth, on-time, on-budget video implementations that deliver maximum ROI; user requirement assessment and business case development; design and planning; video readiness assessments; implementation and integration, including with existing H.323 environments; and optimization services.

Avaya Managed Video Services offer professionally-managed help desk and end-user support for setting up and managing video that includes scheduling, quality-of-service active monitoring and H.323 integration for internal or external videoconferences.

Avaya web.alive is now available via software-as-a-service. It is a virtual reality, meeting space business communications platform that uses personalized avatars and rich, spatial audio and visuals to bring a new dimension to training and distance learning, business meeting collaboration or role-playing that improves event outcomes, customer engagement and sales opportunities.

“Avaya continues to strengthen their position in the enterprise communications space with the launch of a suite of new people centric and context based products and solutions that enable its customers to drive the benefits of collaboration through their business,” said Stephanie Watson, general manager, MZA.

LIVE WEBCAST Avaya will be demonstrating the Avaya Flare Experience and Collaboration Device in a live webcast today. To participate in the webcast, please click on the following link: http://bit.ly/bCgD2L

Additional information, the full version of this press release, photos, demos and links to downloadable video are available in the Avaya News Room at: http://www.avaya.com/gcm/master-usa/en-us/corporate/pressroom/index.htm

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