Network giant Avaya is using an online self-assessment tool to promote its recently re-vamped range of products for unified communications - technology that routes all voicemails, emails, IMs and phone calls through the user's choice of device.
Avaya is launching the Flash-animated UCan test at the Unified Communications 08 event in London to "reinforce our lead," in the field, according to marketing manager Chris Barrow.
The tool is intended to be "viral," he says: "The graphics are funky, and people will pass it on to their mates." Viewers rate statements like "trying to track down a colleague's number is an exercise in extreme futility," and are eventually given a score and told how UC could help them - for instance, a unified mailbox could make them faster.
Avaya's product offering at the show itself is more serious, but suffers from the fact that UC products strive to be unintrusive, leaving little technology on the surface. "We're trying to make unified communications mean something, but for the end user the technology is of no interest whatsoever" said Barrow. "We're doing our best to hide the technology from the end user and even from the chief technologist."
The company will show a revamped set of products, relaunched at the VoiceCon event at the end of March in Orlando. This includes four tailored packages, for teleworkers, remote workers, small businesses and home agents, which offer unified services to workers from 15p per day for what Barrow calls a "complete teleworking solution," including integrated visual voice response (IVVR).
"We've segmented this for the right customers," said Barrow. "The 15p-a-day pricing is pretty aggressive for large enterprises down to small and medium businesses. Our IP telephony solutions do scale down to single digit numbers of users," he said.
The company's 1X user interface can be run on many handsets, giving them an identical UC interface, so users can pick up their unified inbox on different devices. The product set also handles voicemail as audio attachments, so it can be listened to non-sequentially, and forwarded to other devices.
An intelligent presence server, aggregates presence information from sources including Microsoft's OCS server and Lotus Sametime: "It has a set of collectors, and publishes information out the other side to be incorporated in business applications."
Avaya is in the lead, according to Barrow, in the IP telephony market, unified communications and contact centres.