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New Avaya Solutions Provide More Effective Real-Time CollaborationThrough Increased Control Over Business Communications

02-23-2004
  • Secure SIP and presence-enabled applications increase productivity and operational efficiency throughout an organization

Avaya introduced new software, applications and phones that provide greater control over the growing number of devices people use to conduct business.

Avaya Inc. (NYSE:AV), a leading global provider of communications networks and services for businesses, today introduced new software, applications and phones that provide greater control over the growing number of devices people use to conduct business. The company said its new converged communications solutions integrate Internet applications, such as instant messaging, with voice and telephone features such as conferencing, voice-mail and "click-to-dial" capabilities. This enables inpiduals and teams across many locations to easily collaborate with the right person, using the right device, at the right time. The end result is the reduction of time it takes to reach colleagues, obtain information and make decisions, increasing overall productivity and operational efficiency throughout an organization.

With today's introductions, Avaya integrates Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) - an industry standard that enables users to conduct multimedia communications sessions - into its portfolio of IP-based MultiVantage Communications Applications. Avaya's SIP solutions enable enterprises to use the full benefits of "presence" to enable enterprise users to accelerate and simplify real-time communication across multiple points of contact - including desktop telephones, mobile devices, PCs, and instant messaging. Presence is a capability that lets inpiduals indicate their availability, the device they are using, and how they want to be reached.

The foundation for these capabilities is the new Avaya Converged Communications Server, a suite of open standards-based software applications that enable an information technology staff to securely and cost-effectively deploy SIP and presence-enabled applications. Through the server, network administrators can provide employees with a single, secure SIP address that consolidates various modes of communications. For instance, a sales director can turn an instant messaging session with a team member into a phone conversation, simply by clicking on the team member's IM address. Then, if the director requires immediate input from others, she can see who is available via phone (based on presence icons), alert them via an instant message, and set up a conference call with multiple parties.

The Avaya Converged Communications Server SIP-enables the following Avaya products, extending them with presence and other advanced telephony capabilities:

  • Avaya Communication Manager: The Avaya Converged Communications Server extends the calling, mobility and IP-based features of Communication Manager - the company's flagship IP telephony software - to SIP phones and applications, fostering the integration of presence-based Web applications with new telephony and voice capabilities.
  • Avaya IP Softphone R5 with Instant Messaging: This new SIP-enabled IP Softphone, which turns any PC into an office phone, delivers secure, enterprise-class instant messaging with voice interactivity and presence. This easy-to-use soft phone lets users send encrypted instant messages, initiate "click-to-talk" phone calls with contacts, show and view availability/phone status of users, and dial phone numbers listed on Web sites.
  • Avaya 4602 SIP Desktop Phone: Avaya's new standards-based SIP office telephone drives a cost-effective communications evolution, including interoperation with any type of device in an enterprise (i.e. traditional, IP or digital).

Evolving to SIP with Avaya - Securely and Cost-effectively
The Avaya Converged Communications Server incorporates Avaya's comprehensive security features, including secure SIP signaling and encrypted instant messaging using Transport Layer Security to help protect instant messages during live interaction. The server also enables an organization to evolve its existing infrastructure with SIP-based solutions that provide investment protection through interoperation with any type of phone, including SIP phones from other vendors. This reduces the costs of deployment and maintenance. By incorporating security, open standards and interoperability into its SIP-based solutions, Avaya helps an IT staff introduce enterprise-class instant messaging, presence and advanced applications to a workforce.

"Organizations are being challenged every day to grow revenue through increased productivity and improved customer satisfaction, while keeping an eye on the bottom line," said Don Peterson, Chairman and CEO of Avaya. "Avaya continues to take the lead in helping businesses meet these challenges with solutions that improve the speed and accuracy of communications, while retaining the reliability and security that enterprises expect from communications networks."

Strategic Products and Services: Empowering Mobile Workers With Avaya Solutions
One company building its SIP foundation with Avaya's new Converged Communications Server is Strategic Products and Services, a communications equipment and services supplier. With Avaya's SIP solutions, this organization can evolve its existing network with advanced SIP-based applications, providing employees with secure instant messaging and presence capabilities.

Strategic Products and Services utilizes Avaya's SIP solutions, as well as Modular Messaging and Speech Access for Communication Manager, to help its technical and design staff boost productivity while they work from home or on the road. According to Mike Taylor, vice president of emerging technologies of Strategic Products and Services, the new SIP-enabled IP Softphone enables mobile employees to use presence to see if colleagues are available online or via phone, and communicate as easily as if they were visiting a co-worker's office. This helps employees working at home to remain connected to their office's day-to-day business activities, building stronger teams among dispersed workers.

"Avaya's SIP-enabled solutions provide us with the best way to gain the full benefits of a virtual workplace," said Taylor. "In our business, we are required to remain connected and productive while working at home or on the road. With Avaya's practical SIP solutions in place, our employees remain accessible, and in close proximity to customers and colleagues, regardless of their location."

Driving the Next Generation of Enterprise Communications with Presence
"As the Internet and telephony worlds converge, SIP will play a central role in helping enterprises use and manage presence, instant messaging and other advanced applications to drive real value," said Ronald Gruia, senior strategic analyst, Frost & Sullivan. "With these practical SIP-based communications tools that are simple to deploy and easy to use, Avaya will empower businesses to achieve the ultimate goal of IP telephony: enhancing the productivity of their employees."

The Avaya Converged Communications Server will serve as a central driver of presence in the workplace, delivering additional prioritization capabilities for users, such as the ability to set rules on their preferred reach times and prioritized contacts. It will also provide the foundation for the SIP-enablement of future releases of Avaya's family of MultiVantage Communications Applications - which encompasses telephony, unified communication, messaging and contact centers. This includes Avaya Unified Communication Center, a mobility tool that enables users to manage their communications needs - including e-mail, voice-mail and schedules - from a preferred device using speech access. Avaya Unified Communication Center's multi-modal capabilities will be further enhanced through the Converged Communications Server, fostering capabilities such as setting preferences using speech access.

All of Avaya's new converged communications solutions are supported by its worldwide services organization - Avaya Global Services - which provides a full complement of end-to-end services and support offerings. Its consultants and technical professionals, network operations and technical centers worldwide enable Avaya Global Services to serve as a single point of accountability for assessing, planning, designing, managing and maintaining converged networks. Additionally, security consulting services help build appropriate policies for users to accommodate communications security and device considerations, assess security vulnerabilities, and design secure SIP-enabled networks.

The SIP solutions described in this news release can be seen at VoiceCon 2004, where Avaya will be exhibiting (Booth: #319). For more information on Avaya's solutions and SIP strategy, please access the following white paper: "Evolving to Converged Communications with SIP" at: http://www1.avaya.com/enterprise/whitepapers/lb2337.pdf (PDF, 730k).

About Avaya
Avaya Inc. designs, builds and manages communications networks for more than 1 million businesses worldwide, including 90 percent of the FORTUNE 500®. Focused on businesses large to small, Avaya is a world leader in secure and reliable Internet Protocol (IP) telephony systems and communications software applications and services.

Driving the convergence of voice and data communications with business applications - and distinguished by comprehensive worldwide services - Avaya helps customers leverage existing and new networks to achieve superior business results. For more information visit the Avaya Web site: http://www.avaya.com

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