Seven months ago Avaya Inc.
said it was porting the client for its Android-based Flare
multimedia conferencing software to the hot-selling Apple’s iPad tablet. Since then it’s only been available on iOS in beta.
But the general release is coming soon, according to Avaya Canada president Ross Pellizzari. During an interview at a customer show in Toronto on Tuesday. Pellizzari (pictured) said Flare for iPad and Windows will be released next year.
Pricing has yet to be determined.
For Frank Mirecki, director of sales and technology at BrantTel Networks of Burlington, Ont., an Avaya integrator, the iPad release won’t come soon enough.
“People are interested in when it comes to the consumer base platforms like the iPads and other consumer tablets,” he said in an interview at the show. “We have significant customers lined up to get their hands on it when it’s available.”
Flare gives users access in a single interface to desktop video conferencing, social media, presence and instant messaging on a mobile device. But it has to be integrated with Avaya’s Aura SIP-based unified communications system. Avaya wants Aura customers to turn to Flare rather than competing platforms such as Microsoft Lync, which is why the company is eager to get it on popular devices.
One of Flare’s advantages, says Avaya, is that it can leverage the SIP capabilities of Aura. For example, members of a group can come together for a video conference and split into teams for separate discussions in the middle of the call, with a host bouncing back between them.
Flare was first released for the Avaya Desktop Video Device (ADVD) tablet, which industry analysts complain is too expensive for many customers. That’s why many are looking forward to the iPad version.
“We have [Canadian] customers that have it in their labs,” Amir Hameed, director of technology operations for Canada and Latin America, said in an interview. But, he added, most are first deploying Aura and upgrading their infrastructure for High Definition video before putting it into production.
He acknowledged that customers say the ADVD is expensive, which is why they are looking forward to Flare for the less pricy iPad. But, he said, ADVD is intended to compete with high-end video conferencing solutions.
In interviews and in presentations, Avaya officials disclosed other new products and added capabilities coming in the next 12 months.
Jean Turgeon, Avaya’s vice-president and global general manager for data solutions, said a new line of stackable Ethernet campus switches are on the way, as well as technology that will extend the company’s data centre virtualization solution to the campus.Aura’s Contact Center suite will be enhanced with the addition of a number of features, said Chris McGugan, vice-president of emerging products and technologies.