Avaya IP-based Teleworker Solution Expands with Open Network Support
Avaya VPNremote IP Phones for Home Office-based and Remote Employees Now Interoperate in Cisco and Juniper Environments; Coventry Health Care Uses Avaya Teleworker Solution to Boost Employee Productivity, Business Continuity and Cost-Savings
21-Aug-2006 - San Francisco, CA, VoiceCon – Avaya today unveiled the new version of its Internet protocol (IP)-based teleworker solution with expanded open network interoperability, enabling more businesses to quickly and cost-effectively deploy headquarters-quality communications to their remote workforce. Avaya VPNremote® for IP Phones 2.0 is a software solution that lets businesses easily embed virtual private network (VPN) capabilities into Avaya IP phones, providing employees working at home or in temporary locations with the same enterprise-class IP communications experienced in a corporate office. With this new version, Avaya VPNremote phones now support VPN environments of Cisco Systems and Juniper Networks.
Teleworkers – employees working in remote locations away from their company’s main office – can install a VPNremote IP phone in their home with minimal equipment or IT assistance. This is similar to how a laptop PC is connected for secure remote access via the Internet, requiring just a power source, a broadband router and a password. With this unique solution, businesses have a simplified, more cost-effective way to boost the productivity of teleworkers and drive greater business continuity in an emergency.
Expanding the solution to now interoperate with third-party VPN environments reinforces Avaya’s commitment to delivering open standards-based solutions that can be easily deployed on multi-vendor networks.
Coventry Health Care Keeps Teleworkers Connected in a Multi-Vendor Environment
The number of telecommuters and home-based workers is expected to continue rising over the next few years, according to IDC Research. By 2009, 10 million U.S. workers, or 10% of its workforce, will be telecommuting. In Western Europe, 9 million workers are expected to telecommute, representing a growth rate of 10% from 2004 – 2009 .
A company using the new version of Avaya VPNremote is Coventry Health Care (NYSE: CVH), a national managed healthcare company with 10,000 employees based in Bethesda, Maryland. The company, which operates health plans, insurance companies and other healthcare-related services, uses Avaya VPNremote phones to equip Coventry’s growing base of teleworkers using a multi-vendor network.
“We see more of our employees working from home, which can be beneficial to workers and our business overall,“ said Kevin McPhee, manager, network control, converged solutions for Coventry Health Care. ”Teleworking helps employees save transportation costs and helps us retain more employees through a more satisfied workforce. Now that Avaya has given us an enterprise-ready phone to effectively work from home, our claim processors, customer service agents and others using Avaya VPNremote can be more productive than ever"
McPhee adds that Avaya’s teleworker solution will also serve as a key element of Coventry’s business continuity program, helping ensure employees remain connected to customers and colleagues in the event of a disaster. “We can be more flexible to handle major disruptions by giving dispersed call center agents and employees a familiar professional phone that allows them to continue working from any location, securely connected to a VPN.”
These benefits are more easily and cost-effectively achieved through Avaya VPNremote’s interoperability enhancements. According to McPhee, Coventry can quickly set up Avaya’s teleworker solution on their existing Cisco network, saving costs through investment protection. “With Avaya, we don’t have to jump through hoops,” states McPhee.
Improving IT Administration of Teleworkers with New QoS Capabilities
The first version of the Avaya VPN Remote phone debuted in December 2005, with features identical to phones found in a corporate headquarters or contact center. This includes capabilities such as a speakerphone, superior voice quality, enterprise telephony functions such as transfer and conferencing, and Web-based access to information.
“With the day-to-day reality of higher gasoline prices, the number of teleworkers is increasing dramatically, posing new challenges for large and small businesses,” said Frank Dzubeck, president, Communications Network Architects, Inc. “How to extend high-quality communications to remote workers that continues to drive productivity while saving costs is challenge number one. Avaya has met that challenge with its VPNremote solution, and by expanding interoperability and security to third-party networks, Avaya is in a position to take teleworking to the next level.”
In addition to expanded interoperability, the new version of the Avaya VPNremote phone adds advanced Quality of Service (QoS) monitoring capabilities that enable an off-site IT administrator to remotely monitor the connectivity and voice quality of a remote user’s communications. The user can get QoS measurement information directly from the phone, which can then be relayed on to the IT administrator. This capability helps administrators provide teleworkers with the same level of VoIP management provided to in-headquarters employees.
“As the teleworker population grows, more businesses will have to provide communications solutions that not only address the needs of remote employees, but also enhance their overall user experience,” said Geoffrey Baird, vice president and general manager, Avaya Communications Appliances Division. “Avaya VPNremote makes working from home or a remote location easier than ever, and does so in a way that is consistent with headquarters-quality communications.”
Avaya VPNremote for Avaya 4600 Series IP Telephones can be obtained by purchasing the Avaya VPNremote software, which can then be integrated into an Avaya 4600 series IP phone. The models supported are: 4610SW, 4620SW, 4621SW, 4622SW IP CallMaster® and the 4625SW.
This solution will be demonstrated at the VoiceCon trade show event in San Francisco, August 21-24 and can be seen at Avaya Exhibit Booth # 401.
Avaya Inc. designs, builds and manages communications networks for more than 1 million businesses worldwide, including over 90 percent of the FORTUNE 500®. Focused on businesses large to small, Avaya is a world leader in secure and reliable Internet Protocol (IP) telephony systems and communications software applications and services.
Driving the convergence of voice and data communications with business applications – and distinguished by comprehensive worldwide services – Avaya helps customers leverage existing and new networks to achieve superior business results. For more information visit the Avaya website: http://www.avaya.com.
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