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Avaya IP Office R6.0 Enhancements

Avaya has announced the latest release for its SME market flagship offering, IP Office R6.0. One of the objectives of the new release is to make some UC tools and applications more affordable to its customers with relatively small line size requirements (less than 20 stations). Among the new IP Office options and capabilities are the following:* Avaya one-X Portal for IP Office, a Web interface portal (using a combination VPN connection and PC/phone) for station users to manage communications, designed for teleworkers at home or on the road (but also available to office workers);

* Fully-integrated instant messaging with embedded voice calling and presence;

* An new audio conferencing feature (for up to 64 parties per call) that provides the ability for the controlling station user to view, add, drop and mute attendees, as well as record conference calls;

* An IP Office Video Softphone application supporting voice control features via a virtual phone on a PC or laptop;

* Doubling network capacity to 1,000 station users in a multi-system configuration.

Avaya is also repositioning IP Office to better target the market below 20 user stations through a cost-reducing hardware design enhancement, including a new Combination card that supports multiple analog/digital stations and trunk interfaces with integrated media gateway resources for IP. The new software release is supported on the IP Office 500 (IP500) and the new IP Office 500v2 (IP500v2). The IP500v2 is a new control unit which is an evolution of the existing IP500 and is fully backwards compatible with it. It has 4 card slots into which all existing IP500 cards can be inserted, as well as several of the new circuit cards.

Also available are a new line of value-priced telephone instruments designed for customers at the small line segment of the SME market: The 1400 Series Digital Deskphones (Models 1403, 1408, and 1416, and a 32-button add-on line module scheduled for support later this year). The 1400 Series combines traditional telephone features such as dual LED indicators and fixed feature buttons (e.g., conference, transfer, hold) with more enhanced attributes such as softkeys, a navigation wheel and a context-sensitive user interface. Also standard on the 1400 Series models is a speakerphone, white backlit display and multi-line capabilities. These instruments have a look and feel similar to the 1600 IP phones supported by the Avaya Aura Communications offering, and the 9600 Series of IP telephone for customers requiring higher performance desktop instruments will also be supported by the new release.

For customers with mobile office communications requirements, IP Office Release 6.0 will also support lower cost/functionality base-stations for the IP Office DECT R4 system, well suited for small systems requiring only a limited number of DECT handsets. The compact base station allows a maximum of 4 channels per base station with up to 5 base stations being supported.

The new release of the IP Office system is part of Avaya's SME roadmap strategy to converge its product lines, including its Partner platform, and reduce the number of product offerings in its SME portfolio. As revealed earlier, Avaya also plans to merge the Nortel BCM platform into IP Office beginning with the next major release, Release 7.0. Avaya intends to keep the other Nortel SME offering, Small Communications System (SCS), as a software-based solution to complement the hardware-centric IP Office.