TMCnet Feature
February 13, 2012

Avaya IP Office R8.0 Enhances Mobile Options, Management and More

By Sandra M. Gustavsen, Analyst, Business VoIP

With the latest IP Office release, Avaya turns its attention from the Nortel (News - Alert) integration effort and toward new capabilities for IP Office customers and Norstar/BCM customers that upgrade to the IP Office. In various blogs and write-ups, there has been a lot of attention paid to the new IP Office mobile client for Android-based devices, and rightly so, as the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend is a high priority for today’s growing mobile workforce. But in addition, the new Release 8.0 has other notable enhancements, including the new C110 UC Module, a card option preloaded with Avaya’s Preferred Edition functionality, User Productivity Package and Mobility Server (a lower TCO compared to server installations). There is also new presence federation and calendar integration for the one-X Portal thin client application and six-party video conferencing. Read more below. 



Avaya IP Office is the company’s single, IP/hybrid platform for small and mid-size businesses (SMBs) with two-384 extensions per single system or up to 1,000 users across 32 locations. The system has a number of configurations to suit varying size businesses and requirements, including four editions (Basic, Essential, Preferred and Advanced) for varying business requirements and several User Profile Licenses (Office Worker, Teleworker, Power User, Mobile Worker, Receptionist, Customer Service Agent and Customer Service Supervisor) with associated applications and device options. The Basic Edition (formerly called Quick Mode) is available for organizations with under 20 employees, including businesses with an earlier Avaya PARTNER or Nortel Norstar key system that are looking to upgrade.

To recap, the last major release, R7.0 in May 2011, completed the integration of the former Nortel SMB portfolio (acquired by Avaya in late 2009) by adding IP Office support for many of the Nortel digital and IP phones. This investment protection makes it easier for businesses that have invested in a Nortel Business Communication Manager (BCM) or Norstar telephone system to transition to the IP Office as it is the company’s sole SMB platform going forward. There is also a data migration tool designed to facilitate the migration from Norstar and BCM to the IP Office. Norstar key systems have been retired and are no longer sold as of October 2010, but Avaya is supporting existing Norstar hardware and software until 2013 and Norstar services until 2016. Avaya announced an end-of-sale date of October 1, 2012 for BCM 50/450 systems (this date was recently extended from March 1, 2012) with hardware and software support until October 1, 2015 and services support until October 1, 2018.

What’s new for IP Office 8.0?

Licensing/Branding

  • Avaya has done some rebranding of the IP Office sub-20 user offer and renames the Quick Mode and Standard Mode (introduced with R7.0 for simple, out-of-the-box operation for very small businesses) as IP Office Basic Edition (PARTNER Mode and Norstar Mode) and IP Office Basic Edition, respectively.
  • In terms of licensing, full IP Office functionality now requires a new Essential Edition License (the system boots up in Basic Edition). Also, the Essential Edition License is now a pre-requisite for the Preferred Edition, and the Preferred Edition License is now required for Teleworker, Mobile Worker, Office Worker and Power User Profile Licenses. There are also new 90-day trial licenses, including Preferred and Advanced Edition Trial Licenses and trial licenses for each of the User Profiles.

Applications – New and Enhanced

  • Avaya introduces a new mobile application for Android-based smartphones called one-X Mobile Preferred for IP Office. Users will have access to presence and Instant Messaging, visual voicemail, conference controls, call screening, corporate directory and geo-location services from their Android-based device. The new application requires the IP Office Mobile Worker or Power User profile license and works with the Preferred and Advanced Editions. A client application for Apple iPhone (News - Alert) is expected with the next IP Office release (R8.1) planned for the early half of 2012.
  • IP Office Web Manager, a new browser-based management tool for the Basic Edition modes, offers more flexibility than the previous Windows-based management tool. It supports standard browsers, including Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Windows Safari, Apple Safari and Google (News - Alert) Chrome. Essential, Preferred and Advanced Editions will continue to use the Windows-based management tool.
  • Avaya has improved the one-X Portal for IP Office thin client call control application, adding the MyBuddy directory gadget, XMPP IM/Presence federation with GoogleTalk users, Microsoft Exchange Calendar integration, a plug-in for Microsoft Outlook, salesforce.com integration and more. The one-X Portal for IP Office requires the Office Worker, Power User or Teleworker user license.
  • Some new capabilities are available for the embedded voicemail that comes with Basic and Essential Edition modes, including call screening and support for Intuity Audix Commands (previously available for Voicemail Pro and the earlier PARTNER Voice Messaging and PARTNER Messaging). Voicemail Pro adds multi-time zone support, text-to-speech and MAPI Exchange Integration for Linux environments and a call screening feature.
  • R8.0 improves Customer Call Reporter features with enhancements to some of the statistical reports and support for custom reports. Related to contact center, there are also new system features for Coaching Intrusion, Silent Intrusion and Whisper Page.

Hardware/Phones

  • A new Avaya IP Office C110 Unified Communications (News - Alert) Module (IP500 V2 only) has an integrated CPU running Linux and is preloaded with Avaya’s Preferred Edition server software, one-X Portal software and IM/Mobility. The onboard card option reduces installation time and consumes less power than an external server. There is also a new IP DECT Gateway for connecting digital base stations and new versions of the IP Base Stations and the In-building Wireless Server.
  • R8.0 introduces several telephone enhancements, including support for the G.722 wideband codec on Avaya’s 9600 Series, 96x1 Series, 1100/1200 Series, B170 Conference Phone (News - Alert), the Avaya IP Office Video Softphone and third party SIP phones.
  • Avaya’s IP Office Video Softphone enables six-party video conferencing (up from four parties) and supports the sending/receiving of Instant Messages. It is also now available for Mac OS environments.

Avaya IP Office R8.0 is generally available worldwide as of January 11, 2012. On the roadmap, Avaya anticipates a hybrid-cloud offer for IP office, a version of Avaya Flare technology adapted for the SME market and other new capabilities in 2012.


Sandra M. Gustavsen, business VoIP analyst, contributes her Business VoIP column to TMCnet. To read more of Sandra's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves
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