Seven months after Avaya closed its acquisition of Nortel and simultaneously released a road map for integrating the two product lines, Avaya has delivered on that plan. It is releasing a cornucopia of new and enhanced products that largely follow the promises Avaya made in January, Drew Kraus, an analyst with Gartner told CRM Buyer.
“I think they have taken a preservationist approach with these releases. In some cases, they had to make hard decisions about which products or features would stay in and which would be left behind,” Kraus said.
While the features and functions that have been added to the merged product lines are interesting, he noted, they are not the real story. “Most users on both sides of the aisle were frightened or skeptical of what Avaya might do. Now, though, I think most companies have realized they won’t have to do a wholesale rip-and-replace to accommodate the changes.”
An Evolving Target
From a big picture perspective, the changes are meant to help customers introduce far more interactive communications with their own clients, Anthony Bartolo, head of the Avaya contact center division, told CRM Buyer.
One of the company’s overriding goals, he explained, was to meet the evolving needs of customer service operations.
For companies to stay engaged with their customers, a platform has to have true multimedia components able to address different forms of channels and contacts, Bartolo said, noting that “in most cases, voice has become the channel of last choice and resort for both companies and clients.”
New Product Lineup
Among the new product highlights:
- Avaya Aura Contact Center — a multimedia contact center application that supports all types of media including voice, email, Web chat, and instant messaging/SMS.
- Avaya Agile Communications Environment (ACE) — a platform that supports the development of communications-enabled business applications. The 2.2 version has been enhanced with Event Response Manager, a new packaged application that automatically notifies the appropriate employee to respond to an event, such as an inventory shortage or security breach.
- Avaya Aura Conferencing Standard Edition — a solution that offers rich audio, video and Web-conferencing features. Enterprise Edition will be available later this year. Both versions integrate with UC applications from Avaya, Microsoft, IBM and Adobe. The difference between the two is that Enterprise Edition has expanded capacity and features to enable internal operator assistance, emergency blast dialing and more.
- Avaya Aura Messaging — the first release of a Linux-based application that provides multimedia messaging with choices for accessing and storing messages. It is specifically designed to help Octel users switch to the new platform.
- Avaya Aura Presence Services — an open standards-based, native instant messaging solution with federated presence and IM across Microsoft, IBM, Avaya one-X Communicator, and Avaya one-X Agent and Avaya 9600 SIP phones.
Upgraded applications include Avaya Aura Session Manager 6.0, which now scales to over 100,000 users; Avaya Aura Communication Manager 6.0, which can now be deployed as an Evolution server of mixed H.323/TDM endpoints to SIP environments or a full SIP-based voice and video feature server, and Avaya Aura System Manager 6.0, which has extended the common management system across Avaya Aura to include Presence Services, Conferencing and Messaging.
Avaya Aura System Platform 6.0 has also been enhanced to extend its virtualization technology across all elements of the Avaya Aura architecture and applications portfolio.