Avaya IP Office Release 9.1: The IP Office is All Grown Up!
On Monday, December 22nd Avaya released the next release of software, R9.1, and as the title suggests, this product has matured significantly over previous versions. When Digitcom first started with the IP Office in 2005 the product supported a maximum configuration of 360 extensions and 32 sites maximum. With the latest release the IP Office can now scale to 2,500 endpoints across 150 sites, a remarkable upgrade from R9 which still supported a maximum of 32 sites. Although Avaya calls the IP Office a mid-market product, in Canada 2,500 endpoints and 150 sites is probably large enough to service 99.9% of all Canadian corporations. That means that as far as Canada is concerned, the IP Office is now a full enterprise product, not only in terms of features, but in redundancy and scalability as well.
There are two significant enhancements to the product that should be highlighted above the others: 1) the new platform, IP Office Select, and 2) the fact that the IP Office can now be officially supported in the cloud.
Some of the major changes include:
IP Office Select – Avaya IP Office R9.1 introduces a new product offer called IP Office Select, a premium software solution, which includes the same features as the Server Edition in addition to enterprise grade functionality. With the new IP Office Select there has been significant capacity enhancements including support for 2,500 users across 150 locations with 100% UC for all users. There are now 4 versions of IP Office to choose from: Basic, Preferred, Server Edition, and Select.
IP Office Advanced Edition is no longer supported in R9.1. The bad news is that the Avaya CCR (Customer Call Reporter), the Avaya call center software, will no longer be supported, and any customer still using CCR will need to upgrade to the new Avaya IPOCC.
The good news here is the R9.1 Preferred Edition will now come with VM Pro database and Visual Basic scripting (these were previously part of Advanced Edition). Text to Speech and Contact Store will now need to be ordered separately.
IP Office in the Cloud: With R9.1 the IP Office now supports being installed and configured in the cloud, which effectively allows a customer to choose between having their IP Office configured as a premise solution, or, to choose to have Digitcom host the IP Office in our data center at 151 Front Street. This new Avaya cloud offering will compliment Digitcom’s existing hosted PBX platform that we launched in September 2012 and have sold to hundreds of corporations with many thousands of handsets now deployed. Digitcom expects the cloud offering to be available by mid to late February 2015.
Customers wanting to upgrade to R9.1 need to make sure they have the IP Office 500V2 cabinet as the older V1 cabinet will not support R9.1. Digitcom has done hundreds of V2 cabinet upgrades over the last 2 years, and if your office is still running on V1 give us a call to discuss upgrading to a V2 cabinet. This is a low cost upgrade, less than $1,000 installed (provided you don’t need a software upgrade).
Some other product enhancements include:
Branch Enhancements – Branch solutions for standalone branch offices are now available with IPO 9.1 and enhancements have been made for Avaya Aura branch solutions. These enhancements can result in reduced capital and operational expenditures through the ability to utilize the UCM based branch solutions and the simplicity of scalable branch solutions.
Unified Communications – IPO 9.1 offers innovative and user-friendly Unified Communication and collaboration applications. Avaya will evolve the UC application portfolio cloud-ready, which will provide increased margins, scale and security. IP Office provides value and low total cost of ownership through delivering seamless collaboration experience for voice, video and mobility.
Web Collaboration: The new web collaboration feature is based on the Avaya Aura Conferencing (AAC) solution. Users can benefit from controlled audio conferencing, desktop/application collaboration, document sharing and white boarding.
Mobility Enhancements: With the enhancement of one-X Mobile Preferred mobility clients for iOS and Android it is able to provide better security, better user experience, and more features including auto fallback from VoIP to mobile mode, transfer call-to-call facility, add/delete roster contact, call recording, call summary, group geo-experience tracking, and support for different number formats.
Desktop Integration Enhancements: Desktop integration clients, including Outlook Plugin and Call Assistant, can be deployed remotely. The enhancement of Outlook plugin, for example, allows it to support the higher scale of IP Office by handling a larger number of directory entries.
one-X Portal Enhancements: A new gadget is now available which allows users to schedule conference calls and attain a calendar or list view of all the scheduled meetings.
Avaya Communicator: New features added to the Avaya Communicator include compact user experience, contact filtering, web conferencing integration, password change, and more.