Avaya boosts SIP support

New software and hardware enhance features, efficiency

Avaya has upgraded its IP telephony gear to offer better support of the SIP signaling protocol, which for enterprises translates into more phone features and greater efficiencies in business VoIP deployments.

Avaya has upgraded its IP telephony gear to offer better support of Session Initiation Protocol, which for enterprises translates into more phone features and greater efficiencies in business VoIP deployments.

The upgrades include new software versions for some of Avaya’s VoIP platforms, as well as a new phone and media gateway.

Central to the improvements is a new version of Avaya Communications Manager with SIP embedded within it, which eliminates the need for deploying a separate SIP server when deployed with the S8300 media gateway. Version 5.0 of the software also enables SIP trunking, which can redirect multimedia IP traffic when networks become congested, improving performance and connection quality.

The new media gateway, the G450, is designed to extend Communications Manager capabilities to branch offices. The gateway can be purchased as an appliance or as a blade in a server. With dual processors and dual power supplies, it is more flexible and resilient than the G700. Pricing for the G450 ranges from $5,300 to $12,300.

In addition, Avaya added SIP to its Avaya Video Telephony Solution to let users create video calls as simply as they do voice calls and conference in as many as six parties. A video option is available for customers calling businesses via 3G mobile devices, video kiosks or PCs. With Avaya Interactive Voice and Video Response, customers can view visual menus for choosing options, watch instructional video or see ads.

There are also more SIP features in Avaya’s Call Center 5.0, which works with Communications Manager and supports features such as populating agents’ monitors with data that is relevant to customers who have called. Avaya says it worked with service providers so computer-telephony integration features supported by SIP match the features available via ISDN.

(To learn more about VoIP phone gear, see our IP-Based Contact Center Buyer’s Guide and our IP Phones Buyer’s Guide.) 

With a new SIP-enabled contact-center phone, agents have access to presence information that can help them determine whether subject-area experts are available to help answer customers’ questions, for example. Also, SIP trunking supports the ability to pass customer calls from contact center to contact center, so agents who handle calls also have customer-specific data available via their desktops.

The phone, called Avaya Agent Deskphone 16CC, can receive SIP messages directly without the need for intervening call servers to complete the connection. The phones can be moved from location to location and still connect to contact center infrastructure via VPN. So an agent could work from home and still have full voice-data functionality.

Using SIP-enabled phones and SIP trunking also allows agents to invoke video as part of a call without having to set up a separate connection. The 16CC phone cost $355.

Avaya has also upgraded its outbound calling software called Avaya Proactive Contact by simplifying management. Contact center supervisors can directly set up lists of customers to be called, reducing the load on telephony administrators. The new software also encrypts all data transmissions between the agent’s desktop and the system dialer.

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Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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