Avaya recasts IP apps, updates Communication Manager

Computerworld (US online)

Avaya Inc. on May 12 announced that it’s pulling together a group of Internet Protocol-based applications under a new name and releasing a new version of its IP telephony software, Avaya Communication Manager.

The new application group will be called Avaya Multivantage Communications Applications and will include the new version of Avaya Communication Manager as well as software for contact centres, messaging and unified communications.

The integration of the applications will make it easier to deploy and manage a range of communications capabilities in large companies, said Lawrence Byrd, convergence strategist at Avaya. He said the Communication Manager alone has more than 700 features for IP communications, including security and network administration tools.

Enhancements in Version 1.3 of Communications Manager offer scalability that allows a larger number of distributed offices to be supported by a single centralized system, reducing costs and simplifying management, Byrd said. The software at the high end is called the S8700 Media Server and supports 36,000 endpoints, including 12,000 IP-enabled phones or desktops. The S8700 is now capable of supporting 250 gateway devices, up from 30 in the previous version, and runs on the S8300 Media Server, a blade server used in a gateway device for midsize installations with up to 450 IP endpoints.

Two other new features for Avaya Communication Manager are Speech Access and Universal Access-Phone Status. The Speech Access capability allows the use of spoken commands to access corporate and personal directories, make phone calls, set up teleconferences and remotely activate call forwarding. Communication Manager, which runs on a Windows 2000 application server, comes standard with 200 Speech Access licenses.

Universal Access-Phone Status provides new functions for sight-impaired users by converting text on phone displays into audio. With the press of a button, users can hear caller ID or check the status of a phone, including whether lines are on hold, lines are active, messages are waiting or call forwarding is activated.

According to Avaya, Banner & Witcoff Ltd., an intellectual property law firm with offices in four U.S. cities, uses Speech Access and Unified Communication Center, giving lawyers the ability to place a single phone call to have voice and e-mail messages read to them over the phone. They can then use their voices to access, reply to and forward e-mail. Banner & Witcoff couldn’t be reached for comment.

Pricing for Avaya Communication Manager was not disclosed.