The article originally appeared in the Jan./Feb. edition of INTERNET TELEPHONY.
Many advances in technology arise not from the companies’ whose names appear on particular products, but from organizations that develop solutions that live under the hoods of those solutions. AdvaTel is one example of a company with technology you may have heard of, but whose name is not as familiar.
After reading about other unified communications solutions in the market, however, AdvaTel Managing Director Michael Terry just couldn’t help but crow a bit about what his company brings to the table.
Based in Australia, AdvaTel is OEM supplier to such leading UC companies as Alcatel-Lucent and Avaya (News - Alert). It’s also a supplier to other prominent networking companies, including ADTRAN, GENBAND and Metaswitch. In fact, AdvaTel supplied Alcatel-Lucent with some of the technology behind the My Instant Communicator Social Networks solution that ALU unveiled in December.
AdvaTel prides itself for having designed a UC solution aimed at SMBs.
“SMBs have up to 80 percent of their calls external, so to use a solution that looks just at internal calls is effective less than 80 percent of the time,” said Terry.
That said, the interface of the AdvaTel solution, integrated with Outlook, includes a list of contacts along right side of screen and shows the status of both internal and external prime contacts as well as how to reach those individuals via Skype (News - Alert), chat, mobile number, work number – and which of those options will work at the moment in time at which the employee is viewing the screen.
“It won’t let you go down a communications dead end,” said Terry.
About 26 percent of calls finish with one person talking about what they will do to follow up based on that discussion. The AdvaTel-designed UC solution addresses that by enabling users of it to input a note about the planned follow up and pop that note on their computer screens when the time rolls around to deliver on the follow up.
AdvaTel’s own salespeople use that feature quite a lot when they have a quote, says Terry, adding “I use it probably five or six times a day.”
In the same window as prime contacts (aka buddy list), you can scroll down to see all your contacts listed alphabetically. You can also locate contacts by phone number, by part of a phone number, by company or name, or by part of a name.
“SIP InTouch is especially well suited to the SMB/cloud market segment as it does not require a server or any additional IT infrastructure yet it provides presence to all of your internal and external contacts,” said Terry. “Being a true Outlook plugin, it is always there when you need it and you do not have to go to separate applications to use all of its communications features.”
Terry says Avaya has had access to the AdvaTel solution, to which AdvaTel retains intellectual property, for the last 12 months, but that it hasn’t done much it. However, the good news is that the solution is now part of Avaya’s Select Partner Program, which means it has an Avaya part number so when a distributor is going through a screen to place an order it’s in that same ordering system.
It also means it’s part of the Avaya sales structure.
“This is excellent, as some large resellers (carriers, etc.) cannot take on a number of minor suppliers for the required additional applications that they may need,” said Terry. “Now products like InTouch can now be ordered via Avaya and their established channels.”
Katerina Cerny, SMB solutions manager at Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, explains that My IC Social Networks merges Outlook directories and presence with internal and external contacts bridging interactions with Skype, Facebook, Yahoo and MSN with additional features and capabilities. It also offers telephony with OmniPCX Office Rich Communications Edition. My IC Social Networks is a feature update within Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise's OpenTouch Suite for SMB which includes various solutions with the OmniPCX Office Rich Communication Edition Release 9.0.
The focus of the release is on delivering a range of new capabilities that facilitate information sharing and collaboration for on- and offsite workers to increase productivity and customer interactions.
Edited by Braden Becker