Business communications provider Avaya earlier this week announced the release of version 6.0 of its Avaya IP Office, which is the company's flagship unified communications suite for SMBs. Avaya says it is actively targeting businesses with 20 or fewer employees with this release.
Joe Scotto, global director of SMB marketing at Avaya told V3.co.uk that the company has tried to minimize technical hurdles for small firms by making the product "as simple to run and maintain as possible." As I've frequently noted, simplicity is crucial for small and medium-sized businesses, which often do not have an IT department or the expertise required to maintain more complex setups.
Of course, increased affordability is also a huge factor here. As reported by ChannelWeb, prices for IP Office 6.0 starts at $2,500 for five users, $4,300 for 10, $6,300 for 15 and $7,100 for 20. Scotto pointed out that the old 5.0 solution would have cost $6,300 for the 10-user version. Overall, IP Office 6.0 is 40 percent more affordable for businesses with fewer than 20 employees.
To further keep the cost of ownership low, IP Office 6.0 also will allow the flexibility of using both digital and analogue phones on the same system.
Mid-sized companies looking to expand are not left out either. They will be happy to note that the capacity of IP Office 6.0 has been doubled; it can include a multi-site network and scale up to 1,000 users. This is great news for mid-sized businesses, as it would give -- most of them anyway -- plenty of headroom for expansion.
IP Office 6.0 comes with new video capabilities, as well as the inclusion of Avaya's One-X Portal, a Web-accessed desktop that gives users access to instant messaging and embedded voice calling and presence capabilities. The audio conferencing tool has also been upgraded to allow up to 64 parties to participate in a single conference call. These calls can be recorded, and it will also be possible to view, add, drop and mute attendees.
In a nutshell, the new Avaya IP Office 6.0 comes with capabilities that were previously the sole domain of larger companies. While I would hesitate to call it cheap, the revised prices certainly help to put it within the reach of smaller companies with a progressive view of investing in solutions to enable their work force.