The Avaya IP Office Release 6 is just around the corner. And Avaya IP Office Release 6 will be the first Avaya SMB product release since announcing the Avaya Nortel integrated SMB roadmap (you can read more about that here). The Avaya announcement on the fate of the Nortel SMB product line suggests a migration of the Nortel SMB portfolio to the Avaya IP Office portfolio, and some of the product enhancements suggest Avaya understands where they were weak vis a vis Nortel’s strengths.
Nortel’s Norstar CICS and MICS were fantastic workhorses. Avaya’s competing product, the Partner, compared, but not that favorably to the Norstar. Although they were similarly priced, the Norstar was easier to install and use, and had much more expansion capability then the Partner. The Norstar has expansion in excess of 190 extensions, and the Partner to barely 50.
It’s a different story with the former Nortel flagship BCM product. The product, BCM 1000, 400, 200 had been plagued with issues since inception. Although the BCM 450 was better and more reliable, it came unfortunately for Nortel “too little too late”. By time Nortel had released the BCM 450 they were already in bankruptcy protection.
Now, add all of the above products together and what do you get ?
The Avaya IP Office Release 6. At least it appears that Avaya is headed in that direction, especially with some of the product enhancements in Release 6.
Release 6 will represent a consolidation, “morphing” for lack of a better word, of the SMB portfolio. The traditional Partner cabinet will be phased out and replaced with software and hardware combos that can be installed into the IP Office to emulate the Partner.
Some of the significant enhancements of Release 6 include:
- Support for the 9600 series of IP sets. This phone was formerly only available on the Avaya Communication Manager product. They are now supported on IP Office.
- Video conference capability on the SoftPhone client
- Support for the new 1400 series digital sets. The 1400 series have the same look and feel as the 1600 series IP sets. Unfortunately the phone still has the paper inserts
– New line card for IP Office which includes: a combo 6 Digital phones, 2 analog phones, 4 analog trunks, 10 VCM channels, and power fail
– New Partner ETR card which includes: 6 partner phones, 4 analog trunks, power fail on IP Office V2
– Some significant enhancements to the resiliency functionality on the product especially as it relates to the voice mail resiliency
– Small Community Network now supports up to 1000 users
Avaya has introduced a rather confusing support and software upgrade component to the product which I couldn’t quite wrap my mind around. Some of the details are a little sketchy – my excuse was I wasn’t paying perfect attention to the WebEx, OR, I was taking such feverish notes I wasn’t able to keep up. I think I like the latter. I will fill in the details with greater accuracy over the next few weeks, and will post that info to this blog (when I understand what they were talking about).
The expected release date is late February.