There’s no doubt that the Apple iPad is the “The Tablet for the Enterprise.” A large number of enterprises worldwide view the iPad as the enabler for anytime anywhere access. The iPad is already being projected as the next preferred endpoint for the Unified Communications (UC) industry and it’s no surprise that all major vendors are working actively to broaden the availability of their solutions to tablets and specifically the Apple iPad.
To that effect, Avaya yesterday announced the launch of an iPad app for its Flare Communicator communications and collaboration systems. While the iPad version of Flare Communicator does not support video, I strongly believe it’s a massive first step in deploying Flare Communicator on tablet devices.
Even though the Flare desktop device runs on Android operating system, Apple’s “explosive growth” in the enterprise segment meant Avaya preferred to debut the Flare mobile app on the Apple iPad. Interestingly, the Flare desktop device is widely perceived as a competitor to theenterprise-grade Cisco Cuis tablet, but I believe the comparison is unfair as the former is a touchscreen master controller that is used in conjunction with the phone and can’t be used outside office premise.
The Flare Communicator iPad app lets users find business people via a contact card, and start an instant message, voice call or email, simply by touching on that contact. The Avaya Flare Communicator is powered by the Avaya Aura UC architecture and it provides an enterprise grade solution for enterprises to communicate and collaborate securely through WiFi or 3G connectivity. Avaya claims enterprises can leverage the Flare Communicator application to reduce mobile expenses and avoid roaming charges.
“With Avaya Flare Communicator on iPad, enterprise users have a seamless mobile collaboration experience that integrates various methods of communication all at their fingertips. As the mobile workforce continues to grow, applications like Flare Communicator ensure that the tools they use simultaneously provide the consistency and flexibility needed for these workers to be truly effective,” said Nidal Abou-Ltaif, vice president Emerging Markets, Avaya.
The Avaya Flare Communicator for iPad tablets is a free download for users from the Apple App Store. Businesses with Avaya Aura 6.1 or later can obtain up to 50 Avaya Aura client access licenses at no cost to connect users to Flare Communicator during an introductory offer from January 24 through April 30.
Avaya says it plans to introduce video functionality in a follow-up release for the Flare Communicator for iPad. The company also plans to bring the Flare Communicator app to other platforms later on in 2012, including for Windows desktop environments and Android-based tablets.
Next question is, when will this become available for the Avaya IP Office. Release 8 of the IP Office supports the new Avaya One X Mobile, the first step to making the apps on the IP Office more closely resemble the Aura platform. Rumor is that the Flare will become available for the IP Office in an upcoming release, perhaps the IP Office Release 9? The IP Office client base is certainly ready for this app, and the product is very mature; at this point it’s not a question of if, but when.
Written by: Jeff Wiener. www.digitcom.ca.