Avaya extends mobile features of SMB unified communications platform

Table support and new management capabilities support small companies grappling with the BYOD movement.

With an eye to smaller companies grappling with unmanaged tablets and smartphones, Avaya has updated its unified communications platform for small and midsize businesses.

Many of the features in Avaya IP Office 8.1 are centered on extending the systems collaboration capabilities to people using Apple iPad tablets or Windows-based notebook computers. Among the functions that have been extended to mobile devices are presence, company directory search and simultaneous management of two calls. These capabilities are available through a product called Avaya Flare Communicator, which was previously targeted only at enterprise accounts.

Anticipating the security challenges and concerns that the Bring Your Own Device movement raises, Avaya has added protection against toll fraud, denial of service attacks and other threat through an SMB version of Avaya Session Border Controller. This capability is scheduled for delivery in the third quarter.

Avaya IP Office is designed for companies with as few as five employees, although it can scale up to 1,000 users (as of this new release).

PetWow, a veterinary and grooming service in Kentucky, uses Avaya IP Office to manage customer service needs for the more than 100 "patients" that it sees on a daily basis. The technology integrated three previously separate phone systems, said Shandon Stamper, co-owner of Pet-Wow. 

One of the most widely used features by the PetWow staff is the voicemail to email feature, which helps the 48-person team retrieve messages more quickly than in the past. So far, the system has saved PetWow tens of thousands of dollars in recovered productivity, Stamper said. "We didn't know there could be that much savings for something like a phone system," he said.

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