AVAYA - FEATURED ARTICLES
May 24, 2011
AVAYA News - Linking Applications and New User Experiences to Avaya Aura through Avaya ACE
By David H. Yedwab, Founding Partner
Market Strategy and Analytics Partners LLC
Just announced this week at IAUG is a new program called Ace Your Apps, designed to help extend Avaya’s (News - Alert) transformational people-centric collaboration experiences while providing users with maximum flexibility and choice of desktop and business application software. Joel Hackney (News - Alert), senior vice president of Global Sales and Marketing and president of Field Operations at Avaya, describes Ace Your Apps as “a critical proof point of our overall strategy to drive people-first collaboration that enhances user and customer experiences”.
For most enterprises, integration of business applications with communications capabilities often means fork-lifting infrastructure, replacing devices, adding a separate call control platform, or changing the user experience. With this Avaya program, however, companies can:
At the heart of this program is a compelling offer for enterprises with Avaya Aura or Avaya Communication Server 1000 and Microsoft or IBM (News - Alert) instant messaging and presence clients. Enterprises current versions of Avaya Aura or Avaya CS 1000 are entitled to one free desktop integration user license for each UC-entitled user (up to $140/user in value). This adds up to a significant savings – up to 87 percent for 5,000 deployed users – plus the ability to establish a communications-enabled business process (CEBP) platform that can further drive innovation and workflow efficiency by integrating critical business processes in order to grow competitive advantage through both the extension of productivity growth within the enterprise to desk-bound and mobile workers and across the supply chain.
The Microsoft (News - Alert) Communicator Add-in integrates Avaya Aura with OCS R2 using client-side OCS/Lync integration on-prem and in the cloud with BPOS (and Office 365 in 3Q11). Only the OCS/Lync Standard CAL is required reducing customers’ spend by reducing Microsoft license costs. Worker productivity is also enhanced with click-to-call and telephony presence from Avaya Aura handsets without the need to purchase OCS/Lync devices, while the user experience with Microsoft Office Communicator (OC) is preserved with single sign-on and support for phone and computer modes supporting G.711, 722, 729 codecs. Moreover, users can leverage Avaya Aura’s rich feature set directly within OC client including a conversation window allowing mid call control (release, hold and retrieve, DTMF), click-to-video and CRM integration.
With client-side integration there are a lot of benefits from the customer perspective in terms of the feature/functionality and software flexibility. For example, there is tight integration with the OCS/Lync IM/presence client. You don’t need OCS/Lync voice and associated Enterprise CAL (OCS) or Plus CAL (Lync) – a key requirement with Microsoft Remote Call Control (RCC) and Direct SIP integration. Client-side integration preserves a single dial plan and the user experience of the OCS/Lync client while allowing client choice of handsets – a clear saver. And you can click-to-call from Office apps.
On the Microsoft side, Direct SIP is not a true integration model. It’s more of a coexistence model with islands of users requiring OCS/Lync voice and multiple dial plans. A separate 3rd party platform is required for the Contact Center. There is limited mobility support, absence of a roadmap to VDI, and no voice integration for CEBP. RCC, on the other hand, requires a second client to support mobile, remote, and no-desk phone users. Moreover, Lync 2010 will not support the following RCC features: Downloading of normalization rules, video calling for RCC users, transferring conferences to user's own numbers, and join from dialog box when joining conferences.
The IBM Lotus Sametime integration includes Hot Desking to manage phone and video devices. Workers can use their desk phones or preferred devices to click-to-call or click-to-video and to see presence and presence status changes during phone or video calls from within Sametime. Workers may call any number via integrated client as well as click-to-call from contacts and e-mail.
Put into actual practice the ACE Your Apps solution improves employee productivity and customer service while reducing costs. A US-based financial institution, with an existing Avaya telephony infrastructure recently purchased: Avaya Flare Early Adopter Kit, as well as Avaya one-X Mobile for travelling workers, and Microsoft OCS 2007 R2 for IM and presence. This company needs to execute on its strategy for a unified virtual desktop that integrates Avaya one-X features into Microsoft IM and presence without introducing a new client experience to its users. Its solution was an initial deployment of 900 users of the Avaya’s Microsoft Communicator Add-In (with potential to scale to 1,800 by year end). The Add-in features tight integration between Microsoft Office Communicator clients and Avaya Aura CM to provide a seamless, intuitive end user experience for multi-modal communications. This integration preserves their investment in existing Avaya infrastructure, including desk phones while providing the customer with CEBP enablement platform for applications.
In summary, the ACE Your Apps program allows customers to achieve an optimal tradeoff of business requirements for enhancing individual and business process productivity, interoperability with legacy infrastructure and total cost of ownership (TCO). Legacy Avaya investments are protected. Savings also accrue on the Microsoft side as no Microsoft voice CAL licenses nor OCS/Lync devices are required. Enterprises get the additional Avaya Aura savings of: single dial plan, single voice, video, and unified messaging network, trunk consolidation, and compliance. Avaya ACE acts as the single connection point to alleviate PBX (News - Alert) upgrades and simplify PBX integration.
This is a bold step towards multi-vendor interoperability and demonstrates the powerful capabilities provided by Avaya’s ACE.
This article supported by Avaya.
David Yedwab, a technology marketing industry veteran with more than 25 years experience providing business strategy advice to major tech firms, writes the Thinking It Through column for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page.
Edited by Jennifer Russell