Avaya, a global leader in enterprise communications systems, software and services, today announced a family of real-time enterprise video communications and collaboration products and services that deliver a simpler, more compelling end user experience.
Highlighting this next wave of Avaya’s innovative, fit-for-purpose solutions is the Avaya Flare™ Experience, the industry’s first, next-generation user experience that delivers unique collaboration capabilities across video, voice and text.
The new solutions, which range from personal desktop to multi-screen room systems, make high definition, low bandwidth video collaboration accessible for more employees in more enterprises at one-third the cost and using significantly less bandwidth than competing solutions. Avaya Aura™ – the first true Session Initiation Protocol-based, unified communications architecture for multi-vendor, multi-location and multi-modal communications – makes video calls and conferencing as easy as making a telephone call by using the same platform for both. B Businesses integrate real-time video into their core Avaya Aura infrastructure for better of control 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 an important milestone in the 10-year history of Avaya 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 first introduced in January. Since then, Avaya’s Innovation Series has delivered advancements in unified communications and collaboration across its Small and Mid-Size Enterprise, Data Solutions and Contact Center portfolios as well as the Avaya Agile Communication Environment and Avaya Aura 6.0 communications platform.
Real-time, unified communications is at a crossroads as employees and IT departments spend too much time juggling and managing siloed applications, networks and directories that dictate the behavior of the user. According to Kevin Kennedy, president and CEO, Avaya, current enterprise video solutions further complicate the picture.
“To be fully productive, employees need to simply connect via easy-to-use, fully integrated video, voice and text capabilities,” Kennedy 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 the cost using substantially less bandwidth over other solutions today.”
Findings in a recent survey by Webtorials support indicate use of video is expected to grow rapidly as the cost, ease of use and quality improves, with respondents projecting the number of users who will make frequent use of videoconferencing to explode by 400 percent. For that to happen however, four most commonly noted obstacles need to be overcome: 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.
The solutions Avaya announced today solve these challenges and more. The company’s real-time communications portfolio now includes the following collaboration technologies and services:
The Avaya Flare Experience breaks down the barriers between today’s communications and collaboration 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. The Flare Experience features a central spotlight that highlights active or in-progress communications: 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 from which employees can 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 Flare Experience leverages the Avaya Aura 6.0 solutions announced in July, including Avaya Aura Conferencing and Avaya Aura Messaging.
The Avaya Desktop Video Device has been developed especially 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. The Avaya Desktop Video Device features a large 11.6” HD touch screen with video and audio capabilities supported by a HD 720-pixel camera and HD-quality voice supported by built-in dual microphones. The device will enable campus-wide mobility via SIP and WiFi. . The device 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 96×1 Series Desk phones provides voice, conference control, instant messaging and presence capabilities plus desktop integration with Microsoft Outlook for contact management. These latest capabilities bring new value to the desk phone, enabling the user to have a sidebar chat while talking on the phone or to find experts from a variety of directories. For example, customer service personnel in hospitals and hotels can use one device to simply communicate, connect and find information from the web, multiple directories and other sources, thus providing more focused and efficient responses to inquiries as well as faster problem resolution.
The Avaya Collaboration Server provides all of the Avaya Aura 6.0 core functions on a single server, enabling businesses to quickly take advantage 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. The videoconferencing solutions 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. Cost and bandwidth requirements are a fraction of most competitive offers on the market today. Avaya Video Conferencing Solutions include:
- Avaya one-X® Communicator Desktop Video Soft Client, which provides cost-effective SIP-based video in a comprehensive UC desktop interface that offers tools such as IM, presence, click-to-video conference and integrates with desktop environments from Adobe, IBM and Microsoft.
- Avaya 1010 and 1020 video systems for workgroup or small conference rooms, which provide high quality, simple-to-use video in a small, cost-effective footprint suitable for two or three people.
- Avaya 1030, 1040 and 1050 video systems for mid- to large-size conference rooms, which are dual-screen systems allowing content-sharing along with the face-to-face video conferencing experience. The 1040 and 1050 also include integrated, multi-party conferencing bridges for connecting multiple sites.
- Avaya Videoconferencing Manager 6.0, which provides a breadth of management tools, including conference scheduling, configuration and monitoring accessible from Avaya Aura System Manager.
Avaya Professional Services for Video offer a menu of consulting services to help ensure success with smooth, on-time, on-budget video implementations that deliver maximum ROI and 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 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. The managed video service is ideal for companies that want to take advantage of video but lack the day-to-day management and expertise in their IT organizations.
Avaya web.alive is now available via software-as-a-service. Avaya web.alive 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 web.alive is simple to learn and use, features rich analytics to help measure ROI and can integrate with and leverage current enterprise software.
“This is a significant announcement from Avaya,” said Roopam Jain, Industry Director, Conferencing and Collaboration, Frost & Sullivan. “I am very impressed with the user interface of the new video device. It seems intuitive and easy to use. We have been waiting for Avaya to provide their end-to-end video strategy and what I have heard is well defined.”