Mobility: Road Warrior Solutions
A road warrior is a person who needs to communicate while in transit, work from a public place or hotel, or operate from a customer or partner location. As noted in a previous blog (See Mobility: It’s More Than Just Apps!) Road Warrior is just one use case for mobility.
The objective of road warrior solutions is to make the user available for inbound and outbound communications and collaboration across a mix of device and location scenarios and to minimize cellular expenses. Among other benefits, this allows employees to spend more time in the field servicing customers while remaining connected to the back office that supports the goals and workflow of the enterprise.
- EC500 (Extension to Cellular) is the most basic form of fixed mobile convergence and is both simple and cost effective. With EC500, calls to the enterprise number ring simultaneously on the user’s enterprise endpoint and mobile device. The user has the ability to place outbound calls through the Avaya Aura network by dialing into the network from their mobile device. These capabilities are available without the need for any end-user software and can work with any mobile phone, be it a smartphone or feature phone. Thus, while more advanced mobility solutions can be deployed for selected users and groups, IT can feel comfortable deploying Extension to Cellular capabilities to any and all employees.
- Avaya Communicator/Avaya one-X software for Android, iPhone and iPad provide users with access to voice, video, conferencing, presence and IM. These clients operate over WiFi and 3G/4G networks. When used in SIP mode, these clients access Avaya Aura through the Avaya SBC using the data channel of the device. The iPhone and Android clients also have the ability to use the data channel to set up a call, but have the voice path come over the cellular or PSTN voice network. When used in this way, it is the enterprise identity that is projected outwardly, not the device or home number. When used over WiFi, this saves minutes on the cellular plan, and saves expensive roaming charges when used from international locations.
- Avaya Scopia Desktop and Mobile clients enable users and guests to connect to virtual and physical video rooms from iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, and from Windows PCs and Macs over WiFi or 3G/4G networks. To join a meeting from any of these devices, users need only click on the URL sent in the calendar invitation, which will launch the software, enter the coordinates and navigate through the enterprise security mechanisms. The robust feature set is easy to use, as evidenced by the comparison report Tolly published showing that the effort to install, launch and join a Scopia conference took six steps and <1 minute, compared with Polycom RealPresence, which involved 50 steps and ~7 minutes.
- Avaya Messaging Service is a hosted cloud offer that allows the enterprise number to be used for inbound and outbound text messages. This solves the single-number problem, where there are multiple ways in the industry to ring the mobile phone for inbound calls. Avaya Messaging service negates the need to publish the mobile device number in order for contacts to reach users via text.
- 24×7 call logs offer persistence across devices and time. A user who receives a call from a prospect on a desk phone can call the customer back the next day from the call history in the smartphone log. Likewise, if a user switches into airplane mode for a cross-country flight, when they turn their phone on again, they can see who has been trying to reach them at their enterprise number while they were unavailable.
- Avaya one-X Speech allows users to dial in to connect to a personal assistant for eyes-free, hands-free, speaker-independent access to Microsoft Exchange, Avaya Aura Messaging and Avaya Aura Communication Manager, providing access to Exchange email, Microsoft Word attachments, voicemail, Outlook calendar and contacts, corporate calling and ad-hoc audio conferencing. This application is ideal where distracted driving laws prohibit use of the smartphone, or for users who don’t have a smartphone and need access to these services.
- Avaya Aura Messaging and related applications can notify users of new messages via email or SMS, and can have voice messages transcribed into text and delivered via email or SMS. Voice messages can be retrieved directly from the smartphone client.
- Call control for road warriors through the mobile client allows users to determine if and when calls are directed to their smartphone. They have the ability to turn off business calls when on personal time. International travelers can insert a local SIM card into their device to eliminate expensive international roaming charges. Their contacts will continue to call, fax or text to the enterprise number, as there is no need for the user to communicate the number associated with their alternate SIM card.
- While a desk phone is not a portable device, it supports the mobile worker–such as an accountant or consultant–who needs to temporarily set up shop at an external location. The desk phone discussion in the teleworker section applies equally to this class of road warrior. From any Internet connection, individuals can plug in their deskphone, authenticate and get connected to their enterprise.