Business communications provider Avaya has launched a new unified communications (UC) platform aimed specifically at very small businesses.
Avaya said that its new IP Office 6.0 product has been designed to help meet the UC needs of firms with 20 or fewer employees by making the product up to 40 per cent more affordable than the company's previous offerings.
Joe Scotto, global director of SMB marketing at Avaya, explained that the company had done this by replacing the previous multiple Flash card set up with a new system which requires just a single SD card to support digital, analogue and IP devices.
"For a firm putting 10 users on a system the new IP Office 6.0 offering could be available to them for $4,300 [£2,860], whereas under the old 5.0 solution this would have cost them $6,300 [4,860]," he explained.
The cost savings from this switch also mean that the Essential edition of the IP Office platform, which offers basic functionality for small firms as such as call routing, caller ID and voice mail, has dropped in price from $795 (£527) to $50 (£33).
Scotto is confident that the product will prove popular with SMEs due to the reduced prices, but said that the company had also tried to make the product as simple to run and maintain as possible to remove technical issues for small firms.
"With this launch we've really tried to simplify the experience of our IP Office product to help educate very small firms to understand how a UC system could benefit their business," he said.
Scotto also said that the new card can allow firms to mix and match phones hosted on the system, including digital and analogue phones, to help further reduce expenditure.
The Avaya IP Office 6.0 product has a number of updates including the ability for video collaboration through a new IP Office Video Softphone application. This offers voice control features via a virtual phone or a PC or laptop.
Avaya said that the new product now offers improved business continuity capabilities to ensure that essential communications remain online during an outage.
Avaya has also added enhancements to its Avaya one-X Portal for IP Office desktop communications tool which allow users to manage communications from a web-based interface.
From today the new release adds fully integrated instant messaging with embedded voice calling capabilities, as well as presence to show availability via status icons.
Finally, audio conferencing has been upgraded to provide the ability to view, add, drop and mute attendees, as well as record the calls.
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