VoIP tailored for mid-sized firms

VoIP tailored for mid-sized firms

SMEs have been slow to see advantages of voice/data technology

Avaya is aiming to meet demand for IP telephony systems among medium-sized companies by offering an all-in-one product engineered for fast, easy installation and customisation by users.

The MultiVantage Express package incorporates existing Avaya contact centre routing and reporting, auto-attendant, conferencing, softphone and follow-me applications alongside voicemail and mobility extension features that see desktop phone functions exported to mobile handsets.

It has been designed to be as simple as possible for Avaya’s channel partners to deploy, with all the applications shipped on the same DVD and running on a single server rather than multiple computers. It also allows users themselves to configure handset features and call paths, thus reducing work for network administrators, according to Avaya marketing manager Tony May.

Avaya has also changed its pricing strategy for MultiVantage Express, leaving firms with less flexibility about which features or applications they can choose to deploy and pay for. Nor is there any integration with existing analogue telephony systems.

“Because it is an all-in-one solution, there is a limited range of options, otherwise it could step outside the simplicity boundary,” added May. He stressed that total cost of ownership would be up to 50 percent lower than traditional telephony systems based on desktop phones and private branch exchanges.

Rob Bamforth of analyst firm Quocirca believes that mid-sized firms have been much slower than others to embrace the benefits of VoIP, possibly because they are still focused on cost savings as the major upgrade driver.

“The number of large firms replacing traditional telephony systems with VoIP has grown, and there is lots of interest in tools like Skype Plus at the low end, but there’s a cut-off line at 50 to 1,000 employees where there is less commitment,” Bamforth said.