2 min read

Avaya tries to make UC affordable

Networking vendor asks channel to push UC out to everyone

In an effort to make unified communications (UC) solutions available and affordable to everyone no matter their organization size, Avaya has announced its UC solutions for branch offices and remote workers, starting at 15 cents per day per employee.

Allan Mendelsohn, senior manager for UC product marketing at Avaya, said UC solutions are no longer just for elite users in large enterprises. This, he said, means a wealth of opportunities for Avaya channel partners. One of Avaya’s goals with its UC solutions, he said, is to help businesses increase their overall levels of customer service.

“(UC) is not just for outfitting elite members of the workforce anymore,” Mendelsohn said. “It’s about empowering everyone in an organization to better serve their customers by increasing their customer service.”

By introducing solutions that start at 15 cents per day per employee when spread over a three year period, Mendelsohn said partners will find the UC sales process simpler since Avaya has already defined customer-types for each solution. These include solutions for mobile workers, home agents, small businesses, branch offices and retail stores.

“Our solutions-based approach is more prescriptive because we’ve identified the different customer areas,” Mendelsohn said. “This makes it easier for partners to get into the door to approach customers and their business problems. UC is all about bringing different pieces and making them work together.”

In addition to this announcement, Avaya has also announced Intelligent Presence, a new software that uses presence-based, real-time communications technology. The solution is ideal for businesses to help track a user’s availability and presence.

“Intelligent Presence is a key enabler of UC,” Mendelsohn said. “It’s a feature within unified messaging that provides users with telephony and location-based presence information based on where they are on the network.”

With the solution, users can choose who can reach them and through whichever methods of communication they like, such as through a desktop phone or cellular phone. The solution, he mentions, also integrates well with different vendor platforms using multiple protocols to help locate whoever the person is that’s needed. He predicts that once customers see the value and power of being able to know what a user’s availability is, there will be more demand for presence-based communications solutions because they help save company time. The solution will be available in the second quarter of this year and partners, he adds, will be able to aggregate Intelligent Presence with a variety of different sources, which therefore makes it more easily accessible to end-users.

“Organizations are realizing the value UC solutions are having within their business,” Mendelsohn said. “Because the solutions provide savings and they help reduce the time of sales and business processes, that’s where the real value lies. We think these things are important which leads to us wanting to get UC into the hands of as many people as we can,” he adds.