Infrastructure // Unified Communications
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Avaya Bolsters ACE Unified Communications Platform

Agile Communication Environment adds click-to-call integration with Microsoft Communications and IBM Lotus Notes and Sametime.

Avaya is continuing to enhance its Avaya Agile Communication Environment (ACE) with new features for the real-time communications platform, including add-ons for Microsoft's Communications and IBM's Lotus Notes and Sametime.

Announced Monday, Avaya said the new features facilitate creation of communications-enabled business processes that streamline collaboration as well as speed workflows and reduce costs. Avaya has been enhancing ACE since it was acquired in the firm's purchase of Nortel Networks' enterprise solutions unit in 2009.

Since the acquisition, Avaya has moved to meld ACE with its Avaya Aura platform.

The new features include a client-side add-in for Microsoft Communications that enables the utilization of Avaya desktop phones for click-to-call use. Backed by Avaya Aura functionality, the features are easily integrated under the Microsoft Office Communications Server standard client access license, Avaya said.

Another new click-to-call feature on Avaya desktop phones works seamlessly with IBM Lotus Notes Release 8.5.1 and Sametime. It is available in a packaged application that embeds voice in the Lotus release. In addition, a new Avaya Aura toolkit is aimed at IT developers seeking additional control over the design of communications sessions. Avaya cited the example of a legal firm using the toolkit: the firm could build an application that automatically records a client's incoming call, then sends the recording to a transcription service, and bills the client.

"Unified communications solutions alone provide significant value," said Brent Kelly, a senior analyst and partner at Wainhouse Research, commenting on the Avaya announcement. "However, when they are used to accelerate this business, their value is multiplied."

Avaya's $900 million acquisition of Nortel's enterprise solutions unit has enabled Avaya to beef up its unified communications and other enterprise communications systems for a reasonable price. The Nortel unit had recorded annual revenues of $2.4 billion before the acquisition.


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