Era of Cost Saving Unified Communications

by CXOtoday Staff    Mar 31, 2009

In this era of difficult economic times, organizations are looking to deploy business communications solutions that will bring them rapid returns on their investment and at the same time improve operational performance.

In order to meet these needs, Avaya today announced the launch of Avaya Aura, an architecture that integrates communications across multi-vendor, multi-location and multi-modal businesses, while Cisco has introduced a new suite of Cisco TelePresence products and applications.

Avaya Aura is designed to simplify complex communications networks, reduce infrastructure costs and deliver voice, video, messaging, presence, Web applications, etc. to employees anywhere.

The new architecture is anchored by the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)-based, open standards Aura Session Manager, which centralizes communications control and application integration. Session Manager organises a wide array of communications applications and systems by decoupling applications from the network. As a result, services can be deployed to users depending on what they need rather than by where they work or the capabilities of the system to which they are connected.

Kevin Kennedy, president and CEO, Avaya, said the company has seen organisations use SIP routing to reduce trunking costs by 20 percent to 60 percent.  "With this new architecture, for the first time, the way we communicate is defined by the applications and the user, not the network," he said.

"The global economic crisis has had significant ramifications for business in Asia Pacific over the past six months and a chief focus for enterprises today is to improve the management of their expenditure while cutting costs. With its ability to centralize management of communications systems across multiple locations, integrate multi-vendor set-ups, and save costs through improved trunking, Avaya is on the right track to meet the current and future needs of enterprises in Asia Pacific," said Shalini Verma, research manager, communications research, IDC Asia Pacific.

Avaya Aura will be available globally in May 2009. Avaya Aura is available in Branch, Standard and Enterprise Editions and carries forward the "all-inclusive" package pricing announced previously.

Avaya is also introducing an enhancement to its flagship portfolio for the small and medium enterprise market. The Avaya IP Office Customer Call Reporter is a new browser-based application that enables a small business to track and measure customer service and agent productivity levels.

Cisco’s new suite of Cisco TelePresence products and applications enables in-person collaboration to more users in more locations, and provides businesses with a way to do more with existing video investments. Cisco is also delivering Cisco TelePresence for lower bandwidth connections with the same high-quality experience.

Charles Stucki, vice president and general manager, TelePresence Systems Business Unit, Cisco, said, "Cisco is reinventing how users can experience Cisco TelePresence and how companies can change the way they do business by collaborating in an entirely new way. From in-person meetings with seamless interoperability, to high-quality broadcast recording, to sophisticated events, this next wave of collaborative applications substantially expands what Cisco TelePresence can enable, making it even more useful and flexible for everyone in every company."

The two new applications take Cisco TelePresence beyond meetings. The first application transforms rooms into high-definition recording studios with simple one-button-to-push controls to create and publish content. The second application makes it easier for event managers to produce via Cisco TelePresence large-scale events, such as company meetings, seminars or keynote addresses. This new suite of Cisco TelePresence products and applications broadens video capabilities across the Cisco collaboration portfolio.

The Cisco TelePresence System 1300 Series, designed for up to six people in a shared-use meeting room, uses one screen and three cameras. The Cisco TelePresence system 1300-65 uses a 65-inch plasma screen and is the first in a new series of products that takes advantage of existing conference room tables, providing more flexible deployment options for branch offices and businesses of all sizes.

Cisco TelePresence Extended Reach: Cisco TelePresence can now run over bandwidth connections as low as 1.5 megabits per second (T1) in 720p resolution with quality of service (QoS). Extended Reach also supports Cisco TelePresence over open Internet connections, such as high-speed FIOS or DOCSIS connections. This capability adds to the existing immersive experience of Cisco TelePresence at 1080p or 720p resolutions.

In a related release, Cisco also unveiled several enhancements to its Unified Communications system that offer integration with desktop applications.