Avaya ENGAGE 2018: Spotlight on Unified Communications
Busy days at Avaya! Emergence from Chapter 11 and our listing on the New York Stock Exchange are keeping us on our toes. And while the new Avaya balance sheet is of obvious interest to our customers, what really matters is the reinvigorated Avaya spirit of innovation. 2017 had its challenges, but staying busy wasn’t one of them, and we’re now in the process of announcing a host of new unified communications solutions at Avaya ENGAGE 2018, our annual International Avaya Users Group Conference. The timing couldn’t be better, as the market for unified communications solutions continues to accelerate. For example:
- Analysts now forecast the mobile workforce will grow to 1.8B people, or 42% of the total global workforce by 2022 and to support these mobile workers, IDC reports that mobile unified communications solutions are expected to grow at 18% from 2017 to 2021.
- Frost and Sullivan says 80% of enterprises provide or plan to provide UC clients and team collaboration tools to their employees in the next two years.
So what’s new?
Let’s start with Avaya Equinox. Twelve months after its introduction, deployments continue to accelerate and this intuitive app is finding its way on to more and more desktop and mobile devices. The next release, due out in early 2018, will extend Avaya Equinox to Avaya IP Office, ensuring all our customers get the same great Equinox unified communications experience, regardless of platform.
Avaya Equinox Meetings Online, which is available now, provides a cloud meeting and conferencing solution deployable on a standalone basis or integrated into Avaya on-premise infrastructure for a hybrid solution. It’s supported on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS with the option for zero download connectivity with WebRTC via browser, which is great for guests. Now available in 29 countries, it offers enhanced web collaboration, including an interactive white board, true application sharing, support for 50 fully interactive participants or 500 views via streaming, full HD 1080p, and a unique slider capability that lets participants go back and review previously presented content without interrupting presentation flow, while a meeting is in progress.
Avaya is also announcing the introduction of Avaya Equinox® Attendant, a PC-based software application that helps attendants and receptionists efficiently manage inbound calls. It enhances customer service and brings the power of unified communications to front-desk operators with capabilities like “Look Ahead” with presence services, a favorites list for quick access to the most common destinations, and suggested call routing based on previous call patterns and contextual information that allows the operator to provide a more personalized touch.
While soft clients are becoming more and more popular, Avaya doesn’t see desktop phones going away any time soon. A recent IDC survey of IT decision makers found that 57% of respondents thought that future desk phone usage would increase, 28% said stay the same, and only 15% said decrease. To support this ongoing need, the Avaya Desktop Experience is being enhanced to be more modern, connected and personalized, and tailored to meet specific industry needs such as hospitality and retail. Avaya ENGAGE 2018 attendees are getting the first view of the new Essential Experience J139, J169 and J179 phones as well as learning about enhancements to Avaya Vantage and new conferencing devices including the CU-360, a new collaboration device that reflects the move toward more informal, small group huddle rooms.
Avaya is making it easier than ever to deploy and manage desktops, in either premise or cloud deployments. Plug and play with auto configuration is being delivered via Avaya’s new Endpoint Management Services. In addition Avaya will be showcasing Open SIP devices that extend the unique values of Avaya’s J-Series and Avaya Vantage devices (including customization) to third-party platforms.
If the reaction of our customers at Avaya ENGAGe is anything to go by, the doubling down on innovation that our unified communications R&D teams drove in 2017 is paying off. Welcome to a new year. Welcome to the new Avaya!