Faced with growing user demands for information access — and a huge proliferation in the number of systems, networks, applications, and devices — enterprise communications architectures are rapidly growing in cost and complexity. In many cases these architectures have evolved into unwieldy, inflexible structures that are costly to maintain and difficult to adapt in today’s fluid, fast-paced, business environment. Avaya addresses this growing challenge through Avaya Aura, a real-time communications architecture using session-based, collaboration technologies.
The Challenge of the Mobile Enterprise
Solutions that make it easy for colleagues, partners, and customers to stay in touch often do little to help them work together. As a result, today’s enterprise workforce is more mobile and more connected, but not necessarily more productive.
Interactions that were taken for granted when employees worked face-to-face become a significant challenge in a world where well over half the workforce is routinely out of the office.
Free-flowing collaboration — the kind that occurs across a conference table or in front of a white board — becomes problematic when everyone is in a different location, connected via a different network, using a different system or device with its own unique interface. Where context (relevant information to the task at hand) was once provided by location, the job, or project, in today’s mobile environment that context can often be missing — unless your communications solutions can supply it.
While they provide convenient connectivity and information access, traditional communications architectures — separate, location-specific solutions for voice or video, wired or wireless, legacy (TDM) or VoIP — are inadequate when it comes to enhancing the performance of today’s anytime/anywhere enterprise. They are also costly to adapt and manage. According to Yankee Group analyst Zeus Kerrevala, in this new era of collaboration and business performance, “A new architecture for communications is required.”
Supporting People-Centric Collaboration
Avaya developed Avaya Aura specifically to address the needs of people-centric collaboration in today’s mobile enterprise.
Using the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) architecture, Avaya Aura unifies media, networks, devices, applications, and presence across a common infrastructure.
Not only do users know who is calling, e-mailing, or texting but they also have the context: previous e-mails, instant messages, screen pops of customer or partner information, or charts and data relevant to the conversation.
Existing PBXs and other third-party communications resources can be combined into a centrally managed infrastructure, standardizing the core environment, and delivering immediate paybacks in network access, management, and operational costs, while laying the foundation for collaborative solutions, such as video, rich presence and the Avaya Flare Experience.
Balancing Costs, Risks, and Future Growth
Making the transition from single-purpose solutions to an integrated, multi-modal communications architecture can seem daunting:
- The need to leverage and rationalize current investments in network systems, resources, and training, must be balanced against future business growth.
- Centralized control over core services — the key to consistency, lower costs, and reduced complexity — must be balanced against the need for on-demand access to collaborative applications.
- Changing user preferences and popular new devices must be accommodated, but with an eye towards the needs of the enterprise as a whole.
- Streamlined installation, deployment, and management policies must take into account privacy and security needs, protecting the personal data of employees and customers.
An Enterprise Communications Architecture
Avaya Aura is made up of the following solution components:
Avaya Aura Session Manager supports the innovative session-based architecture that makes it possible to manage users and multimedia communications features across complex enterprise networks, including across both Avaya and third party communications systems.
Session Manager provides the capabilities to integrate and inter-operate PBXs and other communications systems, provides users in any location with access to real-time communications services, and enables them to take their communications “profile” with them anywhere in the network.
Avaya Aura Communication Manager builds on the Session Manager core to provide a comprehensive software foundation for real-time voice and video communications. Avaya Aura Communication Manager delivers more than 700 services for unified communications, including support for mobility, contact center, messaging, auto attendant, advanced conference calling, and E911.
Avaya Aura Communication Manager can be deployed as either a centralized SIP Feature Server for SIP end points or as an Evolution Server, supporting a mix of new and existing DCP, analog, and H.323 devices.
Avaya Aura Presence Services integrates and distributes rich presence capabilities across a wide range of business environments. A multi-protocol, open-standards-based (SIP/SIMPLE and XMPP) platform, Avaya Aura Presence Services is designed to collect, aggregate, and publish presence from and to multiple sources and clients, serving as a common collection/distribution point. In addition to serving clients and collecting from sources across the Avaya portfolio, Avaya Aura Presence Services operates across Microsoft desktop applications as well as other third-party sources. Avaya Aura Presence Services can be implemented without incurring the expense of third-party solutions.
Avaya Aura System Platform takes advantage of virtualization technology, enabling enterprises to consolidate applications in a single server, driving significant cost savings while simplifying installation, licensing, management, network utilities, backup, upgrades, and remote monitoring. An example of this is the Avaya Aura Solution for Midsize Enterprise that combines the Avaya Aura core components into a single server.
Avaya Aura System Manager is a centralized, secure, browser-based management console that provides network administrators with an integrated solution for network management. It includes provisioning, user administration, dial-plan management, routing policies, security and fault/performance monitoring, and licensing.
Delivering a common, enterprise-wide management framework across users, capabilities, and applications — including other vendor’s solutions — results in better data consistency, faster deployment, lower total-cost-of-ownership, and less training.
Avaya Aura Session Border Controller secures the real time interactive communications that flow beyond the borders of your internal network. Avaya Aura Session Border Controller is a virtualized application on Avaya Aura System Platform that enables your unified communications and contact center solutions to securely leverage SIP, while simultaneously extending the power of the Avaya Aura architecture throughout your enterprise.
Avaya Aura Application Enablement Services is a set of software interfaces that provide connectivity between external applications and Avaya Aura Communication Manager. Using Application Enablement Services, software developers can write client applications in the programming language or protocol of their choice.
Avaya Aura Applications
Avaya Aura-based networks deliver advanced communications applications for voice, video, mobility, messaging, conferencing, contact center, and more. These include:
- Avaya Flare Experience: collaboration experience that brings together people, presence, contacts, directories, calendars, e-mail, web and social media content, documents, and other information into a communications experience.
- Avaya Video Solutions: High-definitionnvideo for individuals and workgroups across the enterprise.
- Avaya Aura Conferencing: Carrier-grade, on-premises multi-modal conferencing suite for audio, video, and fully integrated web-based communications.
- Avaya Aura Messaging: Provides you with control of your messaging environment, managing texts, e-mails, voicemails, and instant messages in one format.
- Avaya web.alive: Meet, sell, and learn in a real-time, web environment, featuring 3D graphics and audio.
- DevConnect Applications: An extensive array of third-party applications for vertical market requirements and specific customer needs helps you get the most from your Avaya Aura solution.
Each application can be separately scaled, enabling customers to flexibly introduce applications for targeted users and then incrementally expand to broader user populations over time.
These applications benefit from multi-vendor, SIP interoperability, and Avaya’s industry-leading position in implementing advanced mobility features.
Avaya Aura allows users to take advantage of the widest possible array of end-user devices — whatever meets their needs most effectively, depending on whether they are in the office, on the road, at home, or another location.
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