The user is king

Avaya believes improved user experience is crucial to increase uptake of unified communications among regional enterprises and is working on products to deliver exactly that.

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By  Administrator Published  May 31, 2007

Unified communication applications and implementations are set to rise in the region, fuelled by the twin drivers of more IP network implementations and the need for increasingly mobile solutions. And Avaya, the global networking provider, says it is set to cash in on the growing customer interest.

"There is a need to tie in existing or new IP network infrastructure to applications that can add efficiency and productivity to business processes. What is the point of putting in an IP system without having the right applications that can add efficiency to the way that your workforce functions?" asks Lawrence Byrd, director of communications enabled business processes for Avaya.

In the region to attend Avaya's roadshow on unified communications and the parallel launch of its One-X IP phone edition in Arabic, Byrd feels that intelligent, unified communications are the way to go for businesses to achieve high usage and productivity levels from existing IP networks.

"There has been a lag time in unified communications due to two important reasons. One, the definition of unified communication was limited to unified messaging in the early times. This proved difficult for many people and in some ways the industry started off at the complicated end. Now with a broader view the terms have been expanded and made applicable to specific problems with which has come an increase in interest," says Byrd.

"Also, business processes have changed over the last few years. There is a lot more mobility and mobile devices being used today and with this comes the need for an integrated view across communications wherever and whenever," he adds.

He compares the various elements of unified communications to a splendid buffet from which enterprises need to pick and choose based on their specific needs and processes. Too much could get you sick and too little could leave you hungry for more. While some of the first steps towards unified communications are being implemented by regional enterprises, the phone experience becomes critical to push the process further.

"For the average user or the CEO, it's not the technology that's key but the processes that it enables. The normal user at the desk is not a Dubai power user. The Arabic version of the IP phone is designed to initiate and make simple processes easy for the user. We think that's a part of unified communications. In the region, phone experience and mobility are proving to be highly critical," says Byrd.

The company is also building a range of products with user experience in mind that are intended to take unified communications further.

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