Avaya updates conferencing solution

Avaya Inc. has updated its audio and Web collaboration software to support more sessions as well as full versions of its Flare Experience interface for a number of mobile devices.

Aura Conferencing 7.0, a server-based add-on to Avaya’s Aura SIP-based unified communications platform, now supports up to 7,500 concurrent sessions in a multi-server environment, the company said this week. That’s dramatically up from the 500 concurent users version 6.0 supports.
as well as adding controls that help eliminate things that disrupt conference sessions, such as announcing or identifying attendees and background noise.

“It enables secure, effective BYOD share capabilities irrespective of where you are,” said Amir Hameed, senior director of technical sales for Avaya Canada.

Participants can join conferences with a Web browser on almost any mobile device through what Avaya calls a zero-install collaboration agent. The agent lets participants see slides as well as hear audio.

Organizations can also buy the Flare Experience interface, which works with Conferencing 7.0, on the Apple iPad and Windows-based PCs and laptops. Flare allows participants to see who is on the conference call, who is speaking and who has left. It also allows participants full access to their contacts list.

Flare Experience  (above) is Avaya’s full-featured collaboration interface for mobile devices. Until now a lesser-featured version called Flare Collaborator was available for iPads.

Hameed said Flare Experience for Android tablets will be released next year. As for a version for the upcoming BlackBerry 10, Hameed said “with all the issues with BlackBerry, it’s a little bit of wait and see.”

Avaya says Conferencing 7.0 allows a moderator to drag and drop contacts to start a conference, and to switch between instant messaging, voice, and email in one window.
Andy Nilssen, a senior of Wainhouse Research notes version 7.0 is more closely integrated with the Aura architecture than the previous version. One benefit is that it can transparently cascade calls, which he said helps with scalability and reduces bandwidth. “It is a nice step,” he said. “It proves they are serious in wanting to lead in conferencing.” 

Conferencing 7.0 costs a one-time $140 per user. Flare Experience costs $50 a user for iPads and Windows operating systems.

Conferencing 7.0 can also connect to Avaya’s Communications Sever CS1000 platform, which the company bought from Nortel Networks.

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