Avaya Introduces New Solutions For Business Collaboration

14 Sep 2010

Avaya announced today the creation and release of several new solutions, which are intended to transform business collaboration. Among them are a family of real-time enterprise video communications and collaborations products and services, and the Avaya Flare Experience, a new user experience made to deliver unique collaboration capabilities for voice, video, and text.

The new solutions range from personal desktop to multi-screen room systems, and allow easy access to high-definition and low-bandwidth video collaboration to employees in multiple enterprises, while costing less and taking less bandwidth than competing solutions. By using the same platform for video calls and conferencing as telephone calls, it makes video communication simple as telephone.

This announcement marks the latest advancement in the multi-phase product roadmap Avaya introduced in January, and is an important milestone in Avaya's ten-year history. With the cost of video decreases and the ease of use and quality improve, video use is expected to rise exponentially over the next few years, and Avaya intends to assist that growth by helping overcome its common obstacles: cost, lack of integration, the need for a special room, and issues that disrupt sessions.

Avaya's new products and releases include:

- Avaya Flare Experience

- Avaya Desktop Video Device, developed especially for the Avaya Flare Experience as a cost-effective, video-enabled desktop collaboration endpoint

- The Avaya Collaboration Server

- Avaya Video Conferencing Solutions, including Avaya one-X Communicator 6.0 Desktop Video Soft Client, Avaya Videoconferencing Manager 6.0, Avaya 1010 and 1020 video systems for workgroup or small conference rooms, as well as Avaya 1030, 1040, and 1050 video systems for mid to large-size conference rooms

- Avaya Professional Services for Video

- Avaya Managed Video Services

- Avaya web.alive as a "service as a software" (SaaS) offering

The part of the new announcements that received a good deal of attention is Flare. "Avaya introduced a lot of new product offerings, and an intriguing new user experience, called Flare, which will make real-time communications and collaboration simpler and more effective," says Blair Pleasant, co-founder and UC Expert of UCStrategies. "Avaya is doing a good job of making communications and collaboration simpler and more accessible. The company obviously put a lot of time and effort into researching and studying the user experience to provide an intuitive and simple way to communicate via any mode. From first glance, Flare looks great, but we haven't seen and don't know how Flare will fare on non-Avaya Personal Video Devices, especially mobile devices. Avaya says that Flare will work with non-Avaya devices including the iPad, but we don't know if the user experience will be as smooth as it is on the new Avaya Desktop Video Device, which was designed with Flare in mind."

"I was very impressed with the Avaya Flare offering today," says Stephen Leaden of UCStrategies. "In my opinion, possibly industry game changing. The basic interface brings together voice, IM/chat, e-mail, SMS, social network as part of user profile experience. Drag and drop user icons/profiles are used for these as well as ad-hoc audio and videoconferencing. The GUI is slick and very easy to use. All collaboration functionality (presence, IM/chat, video, softphone as needed) are all in one interface. The Flare video device will be wired and wireless once GA; Flare can also be added as an app to a separate device such as an iPad."

Leaden goes on to add, "Avaya states that the system will integrate directly to Aura 6.0 (latest release only 3 weeks old) and a collaboration server can be added to earlier versions of Aura."

"We'll see how the market accepts it - in my opinion, it's the right product for early adopters in desktop video. As I see video everywhere beginning to go mainstream in 2011-12, this type of product will fit well in many larger corporate and wireless environments. Everything is always driven by price, so we'll see how price point fits based on the enterprise user need."

Not everyone is as impressed with the new Avaya Desktop Video Device. According to UC Expert Michael Finneran, "Following Cisco's lead, Avaya has come up with their own non-tablet, the Avaya Desktop Video Communicator, which is an Android-based device incorporating designer name components ("Harmon Kardon Speakers"?) that costs a whopping $2,000! Mobility is the missing element in UC, not video. Avaya has taken a mobile platform (i.e. an Android-based tablet) and turned it into an expensive limited-purpose desktop device."

For more information, visit www.avaya.com.

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