The new technology will arrive against a backdrop of Gartner (for example) stating that virtualization is going to become the default backbone of 75% of new server hardware at a corporate level. It’s a good option to reduce costs and apparent complexity to the end user, who simply sees a new system fired up as and when he or she needs it, compared to traditional hard installations of technology.
Many organisations have benefited from virtualized technologies when their requirement is inconsistent. Notably the UK’s Comic Relief charity, which needs intensive amounts of transactions for a fortnight a year, can afford to power its systems down when the main giving time is over – it has done so for many years through virtual rather than actual servers. The possibility that it could do the same with communications could lead to further savings for it and many organisations like it.
One issue the environment will need to address is availability, which is where Avaya appears to be capitalizing on the strong brand of its existing Aura offering. A Nemertes survey quoted in this story suggests 70% of organisations are considering virtualization for their UC; presumably the resilience of the system will be crucial when specifying, testing and ultimately implementing.
This is where Avaya, by duplicating the server elements of the Aura platform including redundant session controls for SIP access, a survivable core and software duplication, will score heavily. Parts of the system can fail and the main functions should continue to be available.
The idea that virtualization should be available for so many areas of technology but exclude communications is something that will sound very dated very quickly once businesses are accustomed to this newer way of working. Avaya is well placed to take advantage of the new trend and will help businesses set up (for example) call centres very quickly as well as taking faster advantage of the mobile element of current workforces.
Call centres in particular will benefit from Avaya’s Call Center Elite application, which allows for the swift set-up of a virtual call centre in software only. Using soft phones this means companies can respond to temporary needs almost immediately, with one company in the already-quoted report claiming a 20% reduction in time.