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Avaya Aims at SMB Telecommuters

Joe Scotto, Director, Small Business Solutions at Avaya, offered me a lot of statistics about lost productivity suffered by small businesses whose employees miss work due to illness or come in when sick and don't accomplish much besides getting other people sick, plus the time small businesses lose to weather-related closings. Intuitively this all makes sense; out in the exurbs, where I live, people are getting hit with a double-whammy: Houses are new, so the folks who live in them haven't had time to build up equity before the market decline, so their stuck there--often far away from their jobs, which they now have to pay $3.50 a gallon to drive to. So more telecommuting would definitely be a good thing.

Avaya's answer is a package solution that gives the SMB 3 telecommuting-focused apps for $129 a seat (on implementations of 20 or more users), or $179 a seat (on less than 20 seats). The three apps are:

  • Phone Manager Pro--Think of this as a softphone without the phone. What I mean is, it's a PC application that communicates with the HQ IP-PBX, but only for call control. You enter into the application the number you want to dial, and the PBX sets up a call between your pre-configured phone number, and the party you're dialing. It rings you first, then rings the number you called. Why not just use a softphone? This application ensures you have PSTN-quality service, rather than Internet-based telephony quality, which might not be business-grade. The system is configured each time you boot up the application, so you don't have to only be working at home; you enter whatever DID number you're at (hotels would be tricky), and that's where the PBX will set up your leg of each call.

  • VPN Phone License--While the Phone Manager Pro is good for occasional teleworkers, those who work from home full time could get an IP phone with VPN security; the $129 or $179 gets you a license for the hard phone as well as the Phone Manager Pro app.

  • Mobile Twinning--This lets calls be bridged from the user's desk phone to their mobile, if the remote worker isn't tied to their home office or other offsite location.

    Avaya says the list price for the packaged solutions is 40% lower than the $220 per seat price you'd pay to buy the apps a la carte. This is also in keeping with Avaya's VoiceCon message of selling solutions rather than discrete applications, so that enterprises can start using UC sooner.

  • VPN Phone License--While the Phone Manager Pro is good for occasional teleworkers, those who work from home full time could get an IP phone with VPN security; the $129 or $179 gets you a license for the hard phone as well as the Phone Manager Pro app.

  • Mobile Twinning--This lets calls be bridged from the user's desk phone to their mobile, if the remote worker isn't tied to their home office or other offsite location.

    Avaya says the list price for the packaged solutions is 40% lower than the $220 per seat price you'd pay to buy the apps a la carte. This is also in keeping with Avaya's VoiceCon message of selling solutions rather than discrete applications, so that enterprises can start using UC sooner.

  • Mobile Twinning--This lets calls be bridged from the user's desk phone to their mobile, if the remote worker isn't tied to their home office or other offsite location.

    Avaya says the list price for the packaged solutions is 40% lower than the $220 per seat price you'd pay to buy the apps a la carte. This is also in keeping with Avaya's VoiceCon message of selling solutions rather than discrete applications, so that enterprises can start using UC sooner.

    Avaya says the list price for the packaged solutions is 40% lower than the $220 per seat price you'd pay to buy the apps a la carte. This is also in keeping with Avaya's VoiceCon message of selling solutions rather than discrete applications, so that enterprises can start using UC sooner.