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Editor's note: This Avaya product overview is part of a series on unified communications as a service, or UCaaS. Part one examined the evolution of UC in the cloud, and part two discussed the business case for UCaaS. Part three detailed the purchasing criteria and key features to consider, and part four compared the top vendors in the market.
Avaya Inc., a big player in the UC market, offers UCaaS products for enterprises and service providers of varying sizes. Avaya also offers fully managed services, meaning it will deploy and manage a cloud-based UC service, helping organizations run their UC environment and resolve network issues before they affect the organization. This added benefit lets IT departments focus on more important areas and frees up valuable resources.
Avaya currently offers three products: Avaya IP Office, a hybrid combination of cloud-based and on-premises services; OnAvaya, a complete cloud-based application hosted by Avaya on Google's cloud platform, which includes IP Office Contact Center; and Avaya UCaaS, which is Avaya's flagship service that's hosted and managed by Avaya and based on the Avaya Aura Platform.
With each Avaya product, an organization can reuse its existing voice over IP hardware, such as IP phones. This can help large enterprises save thousands of dollars when transitioning from an on-premises setup.
Free up IT resources
IP Office is a scalable product suited for organizations with five to 3,000 users. It provides support for IP phones, softphones and mobile devices. Organizations can select the hybrid version of IP Office, or go directly to the cloud with OnAvaya.
IP Office collaboration features include presence, instant messaging, conference calling and control, visual voicemail, geolocation presence and tracking. Integration with Salesforce and Microsoft Lync and Outlook is available, making the product competitive with other similar offerings.
OnAvaya enables organizations to free up IT resources, as Avaya deals with the technical details and problems. At the same time, the contact-center service is capable of powering midsize businesses with all the UC features that a modern contact center requires.
Feature-rich and flexible pricing
Avaya's UCaaS offering is based on the company's Aura Platform, which provides a single, scalable platform with a pay-as-you-sell licensing model in which organizations pay for only what they need.
The Avaya Aura Platform offers more than 700 features, including caller ID, call forwarding, call transfer, group ringing, sequential group ring, speed dial and address books. Advanced collaboration features include instant messaging and presence, allowing users to publish their presence from multiple sources -- such as desktop, mobile and laptop devices, as well as from third-party applications.
Messaging capabilities include managing texts, voicemails, emails and instant messages from a single interface, tightly integrating with presence applications. Audio and video conferencing are also available, providing collaboration between internal and external users.
The Avaya UCaaS platform offers mobility support, connecting desktop phone extensions to mobile and tablet devices, which helps boost productivity and availability.
Additional features include extensive reporting and monitoring, so organizations can track costs, incoming and outgoing calls, average answering speeds for contact centers, abandoned call rates and much more.
The flexible licensing plan allows Avaya customers to buy the exact number of licenses they need, without incurring significant upfront costs.
Avaya was one of the first vendors to invest in UCaaS. The Aura UCaaS platform is suited for enterprises of all sizes, while IP Office and OnAvaya target smaller organizations.
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