IP Office Takes Top Scores at Enterprise Connect

Selecting a team engagement solution in the era of mobility, cloud-based solutions and industry consolidation is no easy task. As new trends disrupt the industry, finding the best solution for your company’s specific needs becomes more complex.

As solutions scale in size and capabilities, platforms once targeting smaller companies may be able to serve larger businesses with enterprise features while offering a lower TCO.

Such is the case of Avaya IP Office, which this week received the highest overall marks at Enterprise Connect’s RFP Workshop, a competition that evaluated enterprise IP telephony and UC premise-based, hybrid and cloud-based solutions from leading industry vendors and system integrators.

How does this RFP work?

Every year, as part of the Enterprise Connect agenda, consultants (David Stein for the past 2 years) put out a comprehensive RFP that companies are asked to build proposals against. Proposals are evaluated and rated in the categories of architecture, feature/functionality and total cost of ownership (TCO).

The proposals are presented in detail during a 3-hour session at the conference. The final score: 25 percent for architecture, 50 percent for features/functionality and 25 percent for TCO.

The purpose of the RFP workshop is to help companies understand the way experienced consultants evaluate their various solution options, as well as expose them to a sample of how vendors respond to the requirements of a potential customer.

This year’s RFP was for a new IP telephony and UC system for 2,000 users, distributed in 3 sites: headquarters with 1,750 users, large branch with 200 users and small branch with 50 users. The solution had to allow for 100 percent growth (to 4,000 users in the future) without replacing the initially-deployed hardware.

The designs had to be resilient and address a wide range of security requirements, as well as provide for IM and presence, audio, Web, video collaboration and voicemail.

Integration with popular business productivity applications was also considered. To meet the video conferencing requirement of up to 25 participants in a single conference, we were able to offer AvayaLive Video, the new cloud-based Scopia solution.

The marriage of IP Office Select and AvayaLive Video offers a compelling value proposition for midmarket and small companies.

Traditionally, we have presented an Avaya Aura solution and our competitors consistently propose their large enterprise solutions.

Although the RFP called for an enterprise-grade solution, we decided to take a calculated risk by proposing Avaya IP Office Select Release 9.1. This new, comprehensive solution has the capacity and features to deliver an engaging experience for basic stations to power collaborators, with mobility on virtually any device for up to 2,500 users, at a TCO level our competitors could not touch.

Here is a diagram of the proposed solution:

IP Office Select Release 9.1 Diagram

Avaya’s solution received the best overall score in the competition and was a clear winner in the TCO sub-category, which analyzes the total cost of ownership over 5 years.

For those of you who think IP Office is a solution designed exclusively for small businesses, it’s time to think again.

Matt Dodd, Avaya

This article was a guest post from Matt Dodd, Director of Strategic Architecture and Consulting at Avaya. As a member of Avaya’s Office of the CTO, Matt drives strategic architecture initiatives through consultative engagements with customers, marketing and R&D teams, with a special focus on market intelligence.

Matt has 24 years of experience in the networking, unified communications and collaboration disciplines, spanning across roles in services, technical sales, channel enablement and management. He holds a BS degree in Electronic Engineering technology.

Related Articles:

Top Reasons for Making a Move to Avaya IP Office 10

Midmarket companies (500 or fewer employees) across Latin America are leading the region’s digital transformation in the workplace. Unified Communications is migrating from being seen as a business enabler to being seen as a standalone competitive advantage—be that through speed to market or even the generation of brand new services. For midmarket businesses developing and harnessing these advantages, Avaya IP Office™ 10 is a significant advancement.

Release 10 of IP Office, Avaya’s award-winning Unified Communications platform, integrates customer premise and cloud advantages for a secure, redundant and intuitive communications platform.

This exciting new release brings:

  • Enhanced security and resiliency
  • Easier management and deployment with a cloud, on-premises, or hybrid approach
  • Richer user experience
  • Increased capacity and performance—now supporting five to 3,000 users

Two of these advantages that we’re especially proud of: enhanced security and end user experience. We’ve built encryption into both media and signaling. In particular, this is a big deal for those interested in cloud, which brings a new layer of security concerns.

On the user experience side, we’re adding support for two desktop devices:

Avaya IP Office 10 opens a number of APIs to make it easier for developers to create WebRTC-based clients and to simplify configuration and deployment for partners. Virtual meeting functions have been streamlined and strengthened with WebRTC audio and richer collaboration capabilities.

After 14 years of continued refinement and over half a million happy customers worldwide, it is fair to say that Avaya IP Office 10 is an excellent and proven choice for midsize companies, further validated by Frost and Sullivan’s 2015 Award for Growth Excellence in Latin America. Learn more in our podcast.

IP Office Leads the Way: How Doubling Down in One Product Area Can Drive Best Practices

Just over a month ago, we released the latest version of Avaya IP Office, one of the most popular SMB/MM UC systems on the market today. Over the past year, we’ve doubled the number of partners who are offering IP Office as a cloud deployment and have now shipped more than half a million systems globally—but this kind of success didn’t come overnight.

We’ve evolved Avaya IP Office a long way over the years, growing the product from something geared towards the SMB space (typically 100 users and below) to something that can scale all the way up to the midmarket, serving up to 3,000 users. Adding this scale to the product was extremely important because as our customers and partners grow, we can now grow right along with them. It also opens up the potential market served by the product.

Evolving with Our Customers and Partners

At Avaya, we have two groups of people to keep happy—our end users and our channel partners—and both want to make long-term investments in a communications solution and trusted business partner. That’s why, instead of concentrating on multiple product lines, we’re focused on continually enhancing Avaya IP Office with new features and capabilities, such as the new release 10, which adds a number benefits for businesses in terms of security, resiliency and end-user experience.

Our partners are happy with this approach because their salespeople now only need to know one single product, making it easier to sell, manage and configure the technology for a wide range of businesses (anywhere from a 10-person to 3,000-person company). And our customers are thrilled because as they expand and evolve, they have a flexible, scalable communications solution that can still meet their every need.

Businesses can even expand the solution into a simple and robust multi-channel call center. With IP Office Contact Center or Avaya Contact Center Select, companies can integrate voice, e-mail, and web chat channels, and proactively manage the entire customer interaction lifecycle. They can start at their own pace with one channel such as voice, for example, and add other channels such as e-mail as business objectives evolve. In June, Avaya also announced a highly affordable, simple-to-deploy workforce optimization solution that enables a wide range of insights into the customer experience, allowing midsize businesses to create the most value through every customer interaction.

Providing Investment Protection

While many businesses are aware of cloud, not everyone wants it right now. Because Avaya IP Office is offered as a cloud, hybrid cloud, or premises based deployment, businesses can move to the cloud at a more measured pace—adding new features and capabilities from the cloud as they become available or needed, and leveraging the investment they have in a premises deployment.

For instance, a business could start with an IP Office solution today on premises, and then migrate to cloud or hybrid cloud in a year or even five years from now—and all the features and training they’ve given to employees will stay exactly the same because the end-user experience will be the same.

Providing further investment protection, Avaya even allows customers running on old Nortel technology to seamlessly move their user licenses to IP Office at minimal cost.

A Relentless Focus on Quality

Doubling down in one product area has also allowed Avaya to put a premium on quality. Today, Avaya’s Net Promoter Score (NPS)—a measure of the willingness of a customer to recommend a company’s products or services to others—hovers around 58, which is considered excellent in almost any industry. The Net Promoter Score for IP Office has been over 70 for the last several quarters.

This sky-high NPS is all the more impressive when you consider Avaya IP Office is for small 10-user customers and larger 3,000-user customers. This ability to meet high- and low-end needs is pretty unique in the industry, and is only achievable because of the company’s relentless focus on quality and features.

Always striving to understand the needs of our customers, we’re constantly adding new enhancements to IP Office. Leveraging much of the knowledge and experience we learned at the enterprise-level with Avaya Aura, we continue to add usability and resiliency to IP Office. In fact, the latest version of the platform features built-in signaling and media encryption for endpoints and UC clients, helping preserve privacy and data integrity. This increase in security is especially significant to the midmarket, where the number of attacks reported by midsize companies increased 64% between 2013 and 2014, according to the 2015 global survey report.

Beyond other pure cloud deployments, the latest version of IP Office also takes a unique approach to resilience, providing system failover cloud to cloud, cloud to premises, premises to cloud, and premises to premises, keeping your system active and users connected through any outage.

Moving forward, we’ll continue to add enhancements to Avaya IP Office, relentlessly driving quality and features for our growing list of customers and partners.

Yanmar America Jump Starts VOIP System with IP Office

Yanmar America didn’t have a choice when it came to upgrading its aging VOIP systems. Its legacy solution was, quite simply, at the end of life and lacked essential features like call center and call reporting functions. The multinational engine manufacturing corporation also needed to support mobile executives as they traveled overseas.

It was time to send the legacy system to the scrap heap and bring in VOIP that would grow with the business, and with that in mind, Yanmar America’s IT team chose Avaya IP Office, one-X Mobile, 9608G IP Deskphones, and B179 Conference Phones. This completely new telecommunications engine addressed:

  • Replacing the end-of-life legacy hybrid VoIP telephony solution. The existing system was difficult to support, and any customizations–like changing the display–required the IT department to get involved.
  • Implementing call center and call reporting functions. Having these functions would make it possible for Yanmar to provide parts and service to existing customers.
  • Introducing mobile capabilities. Frequent travelers needed the ability to forward desk calls to their mobile phones, and the company also needed a solution that could cut back on international roaming charges.
  • Scaling with the business. Yanmar wanted to be able to buy licenses by single seats as the company grew.
  • The need to keep faxing. Most solutions had discarded faxing along with eight-track tapes. But faxing is still important for parts and service orders.

Yanmar and Avaya deployed the new system in parallel with the old, a huge help for testing purposes and staying on top of user registrations. The cutover took place on a Friday night, beginning at 5 p.m. By 9 p.m. that same night, the IT team was headed home for the weekend, and on Monday morning, the users had their new phones already programmed and ready to use. Some of the immediate benefits of the new system include:

  • Improved company morale and reduced IT support time. Users loved being able to change their ringtones or customize their phones from a Web-based interface, all without having to call IT.
  • Crystal-clear call quality. Even in 75-seat conference rooms, the Avaya B179 conference units pick up presenters at the front of the room. The call quality has also helped with language nuances, reducing the number of times call participants have been asked to repeat themselves.
  • Reduced roaming charges. With one-X Mobile, users are forwarding desk phone calls to their cell phones, and while traveling, users find WiFi hotspots and use one-X to make calls. The company has significantly reduced its $100 to $200 per trip roaming expenditure, a significant savings for the 40 or so employees who regularly travel overseas at least once per month.
  • $23,000 saved annually on third-party consultants and VoIP hosting.

“We won’t be challenged with an end-of-life, end-of-support issue or predicament like we were with the old system,” said Brian Williams, IT Manager, Yanmar America. “We’re confident it will be here tomorrow and well into the future, and that we have a solution in place that will grow with our business.”

Click here to read the full case study from Avaya.