Avaya is a VoIP phone system that can be hosted in the cloud or on-premises. Both options can serve thousands of employees and include a wide array of calling, collaboration, and mobile tools. The system supports multiple locations and can easily have contact center services tacked on to the service. The company works with local resellers, so you will need to find one in your area to get specifics on pricing and support options.
Pricing and Terms
Since Avaya's phone systems are so customized, pricing is often different for each business. Additionally, Avaya works with local resellers to sell and install the systems, which can affect pricing.
The prices that one of Avaya's local resellers quoted us were based on a business with 100 total employees and 25 call center seats. For the on-premises system we considered, which included the mobility, conference calling and upgraded voicemail modules, the one-time costs were $500 per station. That included basic phones and installation.
The call center service had additional one-time costs of $1,200 per user. The prices, however, do not include the monthly cost of bringing a dial tone into the system either via PRI circuits or SPI trunking. The cloud-hosted system cost $25 to $30 per user per month. That included 500 calling minutes per station. Call center services cost an additional $36 per month per user. However, there is an additional $400 charge per station for phones and installation.
Since the pricing we were quoted was for our specific requirement and by a reseller in our area, the costs for of the system and any required contracts for your business would be different. Knowing that Avaya offers such a wide range of system options, we would encourage all businesses to contact Avaya, or a local reseller, early on in their research process to get specific pricing for their exact needs.
Avaya offers a robust VoIP phone system that can be configured specifically for each business. The system we researched was the Office IP platform. This system is designed for businesses with five to 3,000 users and can be deployed as an on-premises system or a cloud-hosted solution.
- Both options have same functionality; however, with the on-premises system, your IT staff is responsible for maintaining it and making any upgrades when necessary. With the cloud-hosted system, Avaya handles all of the maintenance and upgrades.
- Businesses can configure the on-premises system for their specific needs. Each system starts with the main platform, a two-rack unit, and then businesses can choose from the different add-ons. Add-ons can include mobility options and call center services. As a business grows, the equipment can easily add storage, phone lines and new capabilities.
Features and User Profiles
Overall, Avaya's business phone systems offer more features and tools than most of its competitors. In total, the system is available in five editions – Basic, Essential, Preferred, Server and Select – that differ in the number of included features. Altogether, Avaya offers more than 600 features and tools.
- Calling features include automated attendants, caller ID, automatic callback, the ability to put calls on hold, hold music, the option to transfer calls and toggle between multiple calls at one time, and voicemail and voicemail-to-email.
- The Avaya Communicator allows employees to use their mobile devices or computers to talk on their business lines, make video calls and instant-message with co-workers. A presence feature indicates who is online and available for a meeting.
In addition to choosing the edition with the features it needs, your business can designate which employees have access to which features. Each employee is designated as a basic user, office worker or power user.
- Basic users can make and receive calls and have access to most of the standard features, such as the ability to put calls on hold and transfer calls.
- The office worker designation allows employees to use the visual voicemail tool, access the corporate directory, and integrate their systems with Microsoft Office and Salesforce.
- Power users have total control of the system. This allows them to make and receive calls on their mobile devices over cellular, Wi-Fi, 3G and 4G connections.They can also schedule conference calls and turn their home phones into their office phones.
- In addition to its regular phone system features, the Avaya contact center module offers features and tools for businesses with a call center. Among them are the ability for customers to connect with businesses via the phone, email and web chat. It also has skills-based call routing, interactive voice recordings, call recording, integrations with customer relationship management software, and access to real-time and historical reports. The contact center services also let businesses make telemarketing and outbound campaign calls.
- Businesses that have more employees than the Office IP platform supports can deploy Avaya's Aura platform. This platform can serve up to 250,000 workers, including 2,500 on a single server.
- For businesses operating multiple offices or stores, the IP Office platform can expand to work in 150 different locations. Businesses can manage each location from a single browser-based interface. In addition, businesses using IP phones can automatically switch their service to one of the other locations should the office they are working in lose power.
- Avaya spent much of 2017 in bankruptcy. While the company has emerged from it, it is still unclear what the company has planned moving forward. There are reports that the company will now be focusing more on cloud service, so it is unknown what that means for its on-premises communication systems.
- Avaya's structure of working with local resellers could be an issue for some businesses. We have encountered mixed results when trying to connect with local resellers. In multiple instances we contacted Avaya to inquire about their phone system. During one call, a representative answered several questions and then said they would reach out to a reseller in our area to provide more specifics. Within one day, a local reseller contacted us and provided us with all of the information we were looking for. In another instance, however, the Avaya rep told us to find a local reseller on our own. A third time we had an Avaya representative take down all of our information in order to connect us with a reseller. Unfortunately, no one ever contacted us. This type of service left us less than impressed.
Avaya offers excellent on-premises and cloud-based VoIP phone systems. The systems include a wide range of features and service plans that allow businesses to designate which employees can access which features. In addition, the Avaya platforms can support thousands of employees and multiple locations.
Avaya's support structure of working with local resellers, however, could be a drawback for some businesses depending on the local reseller they are partnered with.
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