Avaya Loads Up on Unified Communication

NEW YORK — First VPN remote phone software. Now IP video conferencing. Networking
software provider Avaya is pouring it on at the Interop
conference in New York this week.

Avaya has rolled out new software called VPNremote that embeds
virtual private network (VPN) remote capabilities into Avaya’s family of IP
telephones.

The idea is to make the worker’s phone number as portable as his or her
laptop. Avaya said system administrators only need to integrate Avaya’s
latest VPNremote software within the phone in order to give telecommuters an
“always on” business-class IP telephone.

That is, as long as you’ve purchased Avaya’s line of 4600 IP Telephones.
Just as a laptop can connect a worker to the Web wherever there’s a ready
network, the VPN software helps do the same for the mobile worker’s phone
number.

Avaya said that after an IT administrator loads the new VPNremote software into the
Avaya IP Phone, a home office-based worker can simply plug the phone into a
power source, connect it to a home broadband router, enter a password, and
it’s operable.

Workers can then virtually lug their home phones along with the rest of their
increasingly mobile office tools. Avaya said the features of the Avaya IP
phones with VPNremote are identical to those found in a corporate
headquarters or contact center. The company’s ideal customers are home-based
contact center agents, telecommuting sales people or other telecommuters.

One recent customer of the product line was the U.S. Red Cross, which
deployed the VPNremote and IP phones as part of its disaster recovery work
after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Region last fall.

David Craig, chief engineer of disaster response technology for the
American Red Cross, said the phones were truly “plug and play” and worked
Flawlessly, with no need for onsite configuration.

The latest VPNremote software for Avaya’s 4600 IP Telephones is based on
Avaya’s Communication Manager software platform. It features short
extension dialing, transfer, conferencing and Web-based access to
information and corporate-wide broadcasts via a screen display. It also
supports other Avaya models, such as the 4610SW, 4620SW, 4621SW, 4622SW IP
Callmaster and the 4625 series.

The phones are part of a dizzying array of networking features on display
at the Interop trade show taking place in New York this week.

Avaya also rolled out a new IP Video Telephony system that integrates
desktop, multipoint and group video conferencing with hardware
communications company Polycom .

Called the Avaya IP Video Telephony Solution, the system uses a single IP
network for voice and video integration, and is a foundation for a unified
communication environment for network administrators who need to get video
collaboration going.

Avaya and Polycom are no strangers to collaboration themselves. The
companies launched a video telephony
system
in 2004 that featured Avaya’s IP Softphone software, in order to
make an office phone and computer into a video camera and a microphone. That
system also features instant messaging and presence features, key parts of
Avaya’s unified messaging push for customers.

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