Avaya today announced new products that increase the security of Internet protocol (IP) communications, simplify the management of converged networks, and enable enterprises to meet the needs of increasingly mobile end users.
The new portfolio of products includes a new generation of market-leading software applications, media servers and gateways for small, medium and large enterprises, and a full range of desktop and wireless IP telephones. All of these products are powered by the new release of the company's flagship IP telephony software, Communication Manager 2.0.
Avaya Communication Manager is a core component of Avaya's family of IP-based MultiVantage Communications Applications. The software provides organizations with access to a broad range of advanced communications capabilities, including one of the most comprehensive security solutions for IP telephony in the marketplace.
With this release, Communication Manager increases security with new support for the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), protecting voice conversations carried on converged networks in an open standards environment. Additionally, new IP signaling encryption defends enterprises against hacker attempts and those seeking to steal confidential information transmitted between a headquarters and a branch office. The security features of Communication Manager are part of an overall security solution that includes Avaya's worldwide services organization -- Avaya Global Services -- which provides network assessment and security consulting for IP solutions in multi-vendor environments.
The new release of Communication Manager also contains new Unicode support to expand the multi-lingual capabilities of an IP telephone's visual displays, such as caller ID and Web screen content. Unicode is a standard that allows text in virtually any language to be rendered on a device or PC display. With Unicode, Avaya Communication Manager expands its language support, introducing the software in Japanese, Chinese, and Russian.
For road-warriors working in any location, Avaya Communication Manager enhances its Extension-to-Cellular application, enabling cell phone users to access an expanded array of call handling functions. Avaya Extension-to-Cellular lets users extend their primary business phone number to their cell phone -- providing one-number accessibility. This application now extends essential call handling features to a cell phone, enabling mobile employees to use their cell phones to initiate multi-party conference calls, forward and transfer calls to other employees, or negotiate between multiple callers.
The new release of Avaya Communication Manager provides simplified packaging, available in either a single-site or multi-site edition for organizations serving multiple locations, and now integrates built-in management tools. The software serves as the foundation for all of Avaya's converged products, including today's new introductions:
- A media gateway designed for small branch offices (Avaya G350 Media Gateway).
- A media gateway for medium-to-large sized enterprises with mission-critical communications (Avaya G650 Media Gateway).
- A media server for medium-to-large sized organizations (Avaya S8500 Media Server).
- A mid-range IP telephone, featuring a graphic display and Web-enabled capabilities (Avaya 4610SW IP Telephone).
- An IP speakerphone for conference room deployment featuring wide microphone coverage (Avaya 4690 IP Speakerphone).
- Two wireless IP phones: a compact version for general enterprise deployment (Avaya 3616 IP Wireless Telephone) and a rugged version for industrial and institutional applications (Avaya 3626 IP Wireless Telephone).
- The new version of the company's IP messaging application (Avaya Modular Messaging 1.1).
In 2004, the number of U. S. employees in enterprise firms (those with 1,000 or more employees) working remotely is expected to increase, with more than half working out of a branch office location.(1) Avaya is addressing this trend with new gateways and servers that meet the needs of an increasingly distributed workforce.
The new G350 and G650 Media Gateways -- designed for small branch offices and large corporate campuses, respectively -- enable organizations to effectively deploy and manage Communication Manager features across offices with as few as eight or as many as 36,000 users. This includes Localized Dialing Plan features, which let branch offices and other regional locations customize department extensions, regional announcements, outside access codes and other vital calling capabilities.
The new media gateways and servers integrate industry-leading levels of business continuity, helping enterprise communications remain active during network interruptions or maintenance. Among the business continuity solutions are RAM Disk call processing for the Avaya S8500 Media Server for medium-to-large sized businesses, Local Survivable Processor (LSP) options for the G350 Media Gateway and duplicate IP server interfaces for G650 Media Gateway port networks. Communication Manager contains new diagnostic tools that enable routine maintenance or upgrades to occur without interrupting voice traffic on a network.
Avaya's entire portfolio of converged products and solutions are supported by Avaya Global Services, which provides a full range of maintenance, management and business continuity services to help ensure highly resilient converged networks.
New Avaya applications include the next version of Avaya's IP messaging platform, Avaya Modular Messaging 1.1, which provides scalable Internet standards-based messaging and call answering solutions. This version delivers IP connectivity to Avaya Communication Manager, reducing costs and simplifying implementation across distributed converged networks. Now, in a single product, customers have choices of desktop messaging by phone, IP phone, Web browser, IMAP4 clients, and plug-ins to Microsoft Outlook.
In addition to the software's Extension-to-Cellular enhancements, Avaya Communication Manager powers Avaya's second generation of IP wireless telephones for those requiring mobile communications throughout their work campus. These 802.11-ready devices come in a lightweight version for corporate use (3616) or a new heavy-duty version (3626) for those working in industrial environments. Both versions give employees access to the more than 700 features of Communication Manager, and the heavy-duty version can function as 'push- to- talk' walkie-talkies over a wireless local area network.
Communication Manager also powers the next generation of Avaya IP phones, broadening its portfolio with a new Web-enabled IP desktop phone (4610SW), an IP conference station (4690), and the second generation of Avaya IP wireless telephones.
One of the companies benefiting from the Avaya converged software and systems -- including the new version of Communication Manager, the S8500 media server, and the G650 Media Gateway -- is Charter Steel, a privately held firm supplying the automotive industry. Charter Steel migrated to Communication Manager 2.0 from a prior generation Avaya telephony application, protecting much of its existing investments and processes.
Charter Steel is using the software to distribute advanced telephony features to seven of its company locations across the Midwest. The features include Speech Access for Communication Manager, which allows employees to use spoken commands to access corporate directories and initiate phone calls and "meet me" conferencing capabilities that eliminate the need for costly outside conferencing services. Charter Steel's quality control and technical support employees use the Avaya IP Softphone for PC to remotely access their network and communicate via laptop computer.
Avaya designs, builds and manages communications networks, including Internet Protocol (IP) telephony systems and communications software applications and services.