New mobility and security features are among the areas of focus in Avaya’s latest iteration of Avaya IP Office 8.1, its unified communications platform for small and mid-sized enterprises.
The company also built out the scale of the application; it is now able to serve 1,000 users in a single location, up from its previous support level of 384.
These two development tracks point to Avaya’s continued emphasis on mobile computing and the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) trend, along with a new push into the middle market, Mark Massingham, senior manager of Avaya’s small, midsize and branch office markets, told CRM Buyer.
“BYOD is here to stay, and companies need security measures and a stable platform that will support that trend,” he said.
By extending the number of users IP Office can support, “not only are we more able to penetrate into the mid-market, but for our existing customers it means they have a path for easy growth as they expand,” Massingham explained.
For new customers, it means a cost-effective, comprehensive communications platform, he added.
Many of the changes were made with the iPad and Windows laptops in mind, Massingham said.
Among the additions to this release is Avaya Flare Communicator, an advanced mobility app — previously available only to large enterprises — that enables mobile access to business-class calling, presence, company directory search, and making simultaneous calls while on a mobile device.
Flare also provides a drag-and-drop feature that put contacts into a spotlight, thus launching instant messages, voice calls or emails.
Eyes on Security
Enhanced security options in this release include protection against toll fraud, denial-of-service attacks and other threats via the new SME version of Avaya Session Border Controller, a SIP-based firewall. With Border Controller, users can encrypt media and signaling connections without using a VPN. This feature will be available in Q3 2012.
The new version also comes with new support and service options, Massingham pointed out. Avaya IP Office Support Service — the company’s first support service for SMEs — provides technical support and remote access. Also, new SSL-VPN capabilities allow speedier delivery of upgrades, patches and Web-based services.
“At the end of the day,” he said, “what we are offering SMBs is a sophisticated mobile business phone application that is secure and offers centralized management tools.”