January 13, 2015

Cord Cutting.

This increasingly popular practice is defined as “the practice of canceling or forgoing a cable television subscription or landline telephone connection in favor of an alternative Internet-based or wireless service.” Statistics show that depending on age group the practice of cord cutting has either doubled or even tripled between 2007 and 2013. (Source : Click Here) It’s not hard to see why. Cellular access costs have lowered dramatically and as a result mobile phones are more popular than ever.

Which then leads the consumer to a decision. One device only works when you are at home, while the other works anywhere. One device can only make phone calls. The other is a true multi-media hub enabling voice, video or text based communications. Eliminating the home phone in favor of the mobile also provides simplification. One number is associated to the user. Across all services. From virtually anywhere.

While consumers have embraced this new trend, the enterprise has faced a new revolution. What has been commonly referred to as “Bring Your Own Device” or BYOD is the practice of employees of an organization electing to use their own computers, smartphones, or other devices for work purposes. Kinetic Data estimates that 89% of employees mobile devices connect to the corporate network. An astonishing 78% of companies surveyed reported that BYOD usage has doubled over the past two years. And Kinetic Data forecasts that 1/3 of enterprises will no longer provide devices for their employees by the year 2016. (Source : Click Here)

But the cord has never been cut in the enterprise.

In days gone by employees worked primarily from their desk. All business communications leveraged the desk phone. As technology has evolved the employee has been enabled to be more mobile. Technologies like VoIP allow you to take your extension to any office. Unified Communications debuted in the early 2000 and converted your desk phone into a communications hub. Business communications flowed from the desk phone to your computer, mobile phone or tablet. These devices were seen as accessories to your desk phone, not replacements.

Over time the workplace has continued to evolve. Harvard Business Review estimates that the average employee spends more time in cross-functional team meetings than at their desk. (Source: Click Here) Global Workplace Analytics estimates that the remote workforce has grown almost 80% between 2005 and 2012. (Source: Click Here) As employees spend less and less time at their desks, the choice of the desk phone as the communications hub has become antiquated. A new anchor for your business communications is required.

A lot of ink has been spilled proclaiming the death of the desk phone. Most of the authors of these obituaries proclaim that the new hub for business communications is the desktop computer. But this approach flies in the face of the reality that time spent at our desks is declining. The devices employees are choosing to use are not their personal computers, but mobile phones and / or tablets. In a recent survey 70% of responding employees preferred to use their mobile phone in place of their desk phones. Employees WANT to cut the cord.

The main barrier to cutting the cord lies in the devices themselves. Consumers report their number one complaint with their smart phones is a lack of battery life. While some manufacturers have created very clever advertising campaigns addressing this, the problem is real. While most smart phone have a battery that through “normal” use can get you through a day…business communications isn’t normal use. I spend hours of my day on conference calls. Through this “normal” use my battery would be dead before noon.

And speaking of conference calls…while your cell phone or tablet CAN function as a speakerphone, it’s hardly optimal. As Eric Krapf writes on industry website NoJitter “And indeed, it seems you can’t get rid of those desk phones. Heck, I did that interview with Allan from my desk phone at the office, which happens to be my preferred option for interviews, because the audio quality is the best of any medium available to me.” (Source: Click Here)

Will the cord ever be cut? Will users be forced to keep the desk phone in spite of declining usage and utility?

No.

Avaya is standing by with the scissors.

When BYOD devices connect to the enterprise Wireless Infrastructure typically they have carte blanche access to any and all data on the network, including Payment Card Industry (PCI) or Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) data. An employee leveraging an unmanaged, personal device to access such highly sensitive data can be deadly to an enterprise.

In addition to the security concerns, today’s wireless LAN infrastructures are increasingly buckling under the weight of real time application delivery. Enterprise applications fight for bandwidth against personal applications like Netflix, YouTube, FaceTime or Skype. As real time applications become more and more bandwidth intensive, today’s wireless networking speeds will rapidly become antiquated in favor of new, faster standards such as 802.11AC.

The Avaya 9100 Series Wireless LAN with Identity Engines enables users to leverage the device of their choice in a safe, secure and supportable manner. Intelligent application management capabilities allows the enterprise to prioritize enterprise apps when traffic is heavy, yet allow those personal apps when traffic is light.

The Avaya 9100 Series Wireless antennas support the faster 802.11AC standards out of the box. This approach enables the enterprise to buy the speed that you need. If the existing 802.11n speeds are suitable, that’s all you need to buy. When you’re ready for 802.11ac simply purchase a new license file. This means upgrading to the faster standard at a later date won’t require a ladder and new antennas. Simply apply a license file and your wireless network magically speeds up.

Avaya Identity Engines blankets your network access with robust security. When Helen from HR gets a new iPad Air2 for her birthday, she no longer needs to feel like a criminal. Instead of wandering through the office into dark hallways looking for a guy, who knew a guy, who knows a guy who has the WiFi password, she simply connects to the enterprise Wireless LAN. She logs in with her network credentials.

The network now knows Helen’s identity and the device she’s using. The enterprise can control what content can be accessed from which devices. So when Helen uses her corporate issued laptop, she has access to all data including personnel records. But when Helen uses a non-managed device she can access the internet, printers and other non-secure data. The power to say yes to BYOD coupled with secure and responsible data protection. All on one wireless network.

Now that the infrastructure is in place to properly cut the cord, next you’ll need apps. Almost every vendor has created apps for your mobile phone. Many of these let you make and receive phone calls using the corporate PBX. But Avaya one-X Mobile Preferred also enables you to:

See an entire enterprise directory
See and Share Presence with other corporate users
Send and Receive Instant Messages with other corporate users
See GPS information for mobile users*
Manage your voice mail messages visually
Moderate your conference calls
In addition to all of this great functionality the Avaya Messaging Service also makes your office phone number textable! So your customers can send SMS or MMS messages to your office DID number. You can read and react to those messages from your mobile phone, your tablet or your computer!

Now let’s finish cutting the cord.

When you’re in your office the poor battery life and speakerphone quality have been barriers to cutting the cord of your desk phone, but no longer. Through the use of the Avaya E series Media Stations you can fully cut the cord and embrace mobility.

The Avaya E series Media Stations are a smart dock for your mobile device. When you are in the office simply plug your mobile device into the media station to keep your battery fully charged up. While docked your calls will sound absolutely amazing thanks to the conference room quality speaker array on the Avaya E169 Media Station. Six speakers and four microphones will ensure that the audio quality for your business calls will be cleaner and clearer than ever. While this hardware makes the Avaya applications sound great, personal apps like FaceTime or Skype can also take advantage of the Media Station.

All packed up for the day but then realized you need to make a quick phone call? No problem! The E Series Media Stations are full stand alone SIP endpoints. This means that you can use the Media Station to make and receive calls even when your device isn’t connected!

And finally the Avaya E Series Media Stations are future proof. What happens if you’re using an iPhone 4S with the Media Station, but then upgrade to the iPhone6Plus? Do you need to replace the Media Station because your new phone has a new charging port?

Not with the Avaya Media Stations. The Avaya E Series Media Stations use modular assemblies with USB cables. This provides the look of a physical adapter with the interchangeability needed for today’s rapidly evolving mobile world. Out of the box the Avaya E Series Media Stations come with the Apple 30 Pin USB cable for the iPhone4S or iPad2, the Lightning USB cable for newer iPhones and iPads, and a MicroUSB cable for Android devices.

The intelligent wireless infrastructure to provide capacity and security. The family of apps to provide team and customer engagement across voice, video and text messaging. A device which enhances your mobile device when you are in the office. All of the ingredients to support cord cutting in the enterprise.

Only from Avaya.

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E169 avaya

Using personal smartphones and tablets for business is practiced almost everywhere today. From small businesses to the largest enterprises, many employees rely on their own mobile devices to stay connected, productive, and efficient while working. Now, when on-the-go employees are in the office, Avaya enables them to continue to use their mobile device.

Learn about the Avaya E169 Media Station Dock for iPhone and Android : Call 1-800-Avaya-NOW or 212.413.8100

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