September 15, 2010
Avaya Aims to Bring Workplace Video to the Tipping Point
By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, IP Communications Magazines
Leveraging video for work applications is far from widespread, and that seems to be because the barriers of entry for making video work easily as needed – and where desired – are still a bit high for many organizations and employees to overcome. So says Lawrence Byrd, director of unified communications architecture at Avaya (News - Alert).
To help propel video in the workplace into the mainstream, Avaya has come out with SIP support for its Windows-based client software; and a range of new video products, including the Avaya 1000 family of dedicated video solutions for conference rooms and small groups, and an exciting new desktop solution. All of the above fall under Avaya’s existing SIP-based Aura architecture.
Initiating video communications, and managing various communications in a simple and intuitive way, can be a challenge, Byrd says, adding that today most workers rely on different tools for IM, video, social networking and other applications.
“It’s too hard to use the whole mish mash of tools we use today so … some people don’t use them,” he says. “That’s not how collaboration should work. I should just wave my arms, and it should work.”
To make that happen Avaya has introduced a new drag-and-drop interface that merges Outlook, Facebook (News - Alert), IM, presence, video and other collaboration tools. Also new from Avaya is an Android-based desktop video device with an 11.6-inch screen; Harman Kardon speakers; a touch-screen interface; an HP camera; and VoIP, video and other collaborative capabilities. It’s portable and supports Wi-Fi, so easily can be transported from a user’s desk to a conference room or another office, for example, Byrd says.
The device is part of what the company calls the Avaya User Experience, which Byrd says Avaya is promoting as a new way to think about video. It’s targeted at “power collaborators” within organizations, such as executives, team leaders, deal leaders, lawyers and any other knowledge workers who regularly interact with a variety of people. Byrd would not disclose the price of the device, but says it’s more than a tablet and less than a typical personal video desktop product.
This is just the first of what will be a variety of video products that will deliver the Avaya User Experience in the workplace. Over time Avaya expects third-party devices to emerge to support the Avaya User Experience as well, says Byrd, adding that 4G cellular networks will increase bandwidth to better support rich media applications like mobile video.
To find out more about Avaya, visit the company at ITEXPO West 2010. To be held Oct. 4 to 6 in Los Angeles, ITEXPO (News - Alert) is the world’s premier IP communications event. Executives from Avaya will be speaking during a number of sessions at the event. Don’t wait. Register now.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi