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4 Remote Worker Options Available with the Avaya IP Office


Having virtual and remote employees is not only a way to get things done round the clock, without commuting, and with hard-to-find skill sets but is also a way to meet the needs of employees who don’t want to (or can’t) live near the main office. Having said the above, the conversation is happening with greater frequency as our clients ask about the various options available within the Avaya IP Office remote worker options. So on that note, I’ve reviewed 5 work-from-home options:

Mobile Twinning Mobile twinning is my personal favorite, and frankly, the easiest and least expensive option available on the Avaya IP Office. Twinning allows your desk and cell to ring simultaneously. When the desk phone rings the cell rings at the same time, if you answer your desk, the cell stops ringing, and vice versa. If you answer on your cell and later want to continue the call on your desk, then you can press the twinning button on your desk phone, and the call is live and waiting on the desk phone. I like twinning because it’s easy to set up, it’s activated by pressing the twinning button on the phone, and most importantly, the feature is included with the Avaya IP Office. That’s right: there’s no fee for the license. PLUS, since this isn’t a VoIP-based connection, it works as long as you have a decent cell signal. Cost = $0 Level of complexity in initial setup = easy Level of complexity for user = easy IP Phone One of the advantages of an IP phone is its ability to connect to the primary phone system via an IP address. Unlike a digital phone, which needs to be physically wired and connected to the primary phone cabinet, an IP phone is connected via an IP address. It works regardless of whether the phone is in the building, or remote. If it’s remote, then there are some initial setup considerations. For example, the phone needs to be either tunnelled to the firewall of the location where the primary Avaya phone system cabinet is located, or, you need a point-to-point pre-established IP Sec tunnel from the ‘home workers’ network to the ‘office’ network, and the IP Phone sits on the inside of the ‘home workers’ network. Once connected the phone looks and works exactly like it would inside the office. It’s important to note that you need a decent internet connection at home, otherwise, the call quality could be compromised. Poor data results in poor-sounding voice calls. Cost = phone and IP license, approx. $300 Level of complexity in initial setup = difficult Level of complexity for user = easy Softphone (desk or mobile phone) A softphone is a PC based phone that works exactly like a regular desk phone, with similar features, except for the fact that there’s no physical phone. The advantage for the mobile worker is that you don’t need to bring your phone from site to site … you simply open your computer, launch the softphone client, and voila! Your phone, along with all feature buttons, message waiting lights, etc. is there and ready to go. In order for this to work, the laptop needs a pre-established VPN client in order to see the inside of the corporate network. If you have that already, then loading and using the software is easy. Cost = softphone license is approx. $150 Level of complexity in initial setup = average Level of complexity for user = easy Avaya One-X Portal with Telecommuter mode The hit-and-miss of VoIP, and the uncertainty of the call quality makes it very difficult to count on, which is why the Avaya One-X portal is an attractive work-remote option. Not only does the software work from within a browser, but the Telecommuter Mode allows the user to use a landline (cell or home phone) and take control of the cell or home phone as if they were in the office. If you need to make a call you can use One-X Portal. Type the number in and the system calls your cell, and then bridges the call to the outside user. The call display looks like the call is coming from the office, not from your cell phone, and it’s not VoIP-based which is great if you have questionable VoIP quality. Cost = One-X license = $150 Level of complexity in initial setup = difficult Level of complexity for user = average So there you have it. Four remote worker options available with the Avaya IP Office. The work world has changed from one in which people sit in the same office to one in which you may work remotely, but still appear to work from within the same phone system.

Jeff Wiener


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