Avaya to add VOIP to Google Apps

Collaboration will focus on voice, presence

Avaya said on Thursday that it will develop communications solutions for small business that combine Google's updated Apps Premier Edition suite of Web applications with its own IP telephony technology.

Avaya plans to link its IP Office product to Google Apps Premiere Edition. The combined solutions, which Avaya will sell through its network of resellers and distributors, are expected to be available by the end of the year, the company said in a statement.

Google Apps Premier is a new, premium version of Google Apps for Your Domain that Google unveiled Thursday. The software, which costs US$50 per user per year, includes word processing and spreadsheet applications, calendar, e-mail, instant messaging, as well as guaranteed uptime, IT management tools, and technical support.

The new product is similar to earlier iterations of Google Apps for the consumer and education space, but is targeted at small businesses that need low-cost office software. The product is widely seen as a challenger to Microsoft's Office, which includes Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint, and which has long been the dominant productivity suite in the enterprise.

Avaya plans to add tight integration of its VOIP technology with platforms like Google Talk and to offer subscribers a single in-box for voice, e-mail, IM, and faxes. The company also envisions features to enable subscribers to share contacts, alerts, and online status (or "presence") information, Avaya said.

The new products might allow a manager with a distributed, mobile workforce to quickly determine who is online and offline, or a company with manufacturing facilities in China to use Google Talk for long distance calls, but also use dedicated voice and data from Avaya for customer contacts, the company said.

Avaya is currently working with Google, using APIs for Google Apps Premier to build the functionality. It expects to deliver an integrated solution in 2007.

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