Avaya introduces the new avatar of Norstar, fuelled by the vibrant DNA of IP Office

Published November 24th, 2010 - 07:34 GMT

Avaya, Inc. today introduced the reincarnated version of Norstar with the new IP Office Essential Edition – Norstar Version.  With the introduction of this flagship communications solution for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME), Avaya is set to further expand its dominant market share in the telecoms SME market.  IP Office Essential Edition – Norstar Version delivers a host of business collaboration and customer service enhancements that can improve ease-of-use and worker productivity for SME workers, and provides significant new efficiencies for businesses.

The Middle East specific IP Office Essential Edition – Norstar Version has been recognised for its TCO (total cost of ownership) benefits, delivering savings of approximately 25% in acquisition and ownership costs when compared to a competing vendor solution.  The new version of Avaya IP Office extends TCO strengths by enabling installation via a single DVD containing the open standards-based Linux operating system (OS) and key communications applications. Formerly, the OS and IP Office applications had to be installed via several sources and multiple DVDs. 

This new approach can cut down software installation times by as much as 75% , saving labour costs and simplifying installation. Additionally, when compared to other OS environments, Linux does not require user licenses, driving further savings.

“Our vision is to bring all of the powerful collaboration capabilities of big business to the SME community—without the complexity,” said Khalid Khan, SME manager – Emerging Markets, Avaya. “With an already established Norstar customer base in the region, Avaya’s Middle East specific IP Office Essential Edition – Norstar Version will help these customers upgrade their current systems to the latest IP Office without having to invest in new equipment. 

Khan added, “Avaya IP Office Essential Edition – Norstar Version is the ideal solution for small enterprises that anticipate growth. It incorporates the best from one of the world’s most popular phone systems – Avaya Norstar – with the flexibility, sophistication and expandability of our award-winning IP Office. With the latest release of Avaya IP Office, we are advancing on this vision, while introducing new levels of cost-efficiency and TCO that drive new savings through advanced communications.”

Avaya is the worldwide leader in the SME space, with leadership in both revenue and line share.  With IP Office Essential Edition – Norstar Version, the company is accelerating unified communications and contact centre technologies in the SME market, but with a focus on helping businesses save time and money. This helps SMEs compete more effectively, but do so in a cost-conscious manner.

“IP Office Essential Edition – Norstar Version provides partners like us with new capabilities that will save a significant amount of time," says Sarwan Singh, from Prologix, an Avaya SME partner. "Time is money when we have a lot of clients to install and support. This latest release not only introduces new capabilities for small business customers but also continues to make IP Office easier to sell and manage. Avaya is the leading vendor of technology aimed at the SME sector globally, and so it clearly understands the opportunities and challenges facing the SME market and can develop technology accordingly. From a partner perspective, it also understands what we need to serve this sector effectively.”

Avaya IP Office Essential Edition – Norstar Version features unified messaging, one number access, caller ID, Dial-by-name, automated attendant, multi-party conferencing, integrated voicemail, and more. It supports analog trunk lines and newer IP based technologies such as SIP trunking, to provide significant cost savings. SME’s will benefit from lower costs and investment protection.

“Avaya continues to strengthen its SMB product offering with the Avaya IP Office 6.1 release,” commented MZA Ltd general manager, Stephanie Watson. “In addition to extended multi-site networking capabilities, enhancements to the oneX portal interface, contact centre reporting and multi-party video capabilities, this new release also incorporates key improvements in deployment and management options which will resonate well with the SMB channel participants.
“Enhancements made available in Release 6.1 which will extend support of Nortel IP devices in the IP Office environment should reassure legacy Avaya and Nortel customers and channels,“ continued Watson. “Improved interoperability in mixed IPO and BCM environments and, importantly, an enhanced Essential Edition targeting the significant Norstar installed base in the Middle East and Africa underlines Avaya’s commitment to deliver on its Avaya/Nortel product roadmap.” 

Avaya IP Office Roadmap and Business Communication Manager 6.0
  The company also completed significant elements of its Avaya IP Office roadmap, post the Avaya-Nortel Enterprise Systems (NES) merger. This includes interoperability between Avaya IP Office and the Business Communication Manager (BCM) platform (formerly NES’ SME offering) to mix and match in multi-site deployments. The newly Avaya branded BCM 6.0 introduces enhanced unified communications and collaboration capabilities for greater productivity and efficiency. This includes improved mobility for the ‘Find Me, Follow Me’ and conferencing applications, as well as the ability for BCM users to add teleworkers.

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