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Ad’Vantage Avaya: Launching a Desk Phone Revival

New innovation brings new life to the desktop phone

Ad’Vantage Avaya: Launching a Desk Phone Revival

Forget what you think you know about the so-called “death” of the desk phone endpoint.

For a while now, we’ve seen countless companies talking about their predictions that demand for on-premises IP phones will begin dwindling in the coming years. Suggestions like these have emerged from a growing demand for software-focused UC&C solutions that allow everything a business needs for stronger communication to flow through the cloud.

However, innovators in the world of digital communications software, Avaya, disagree with the idea that the era of the desk phone is over. They believe that the technology in your office simply needs an upgrade – and that’s exactly what they’re offering with the Avaya Vantage device. During my visit to the Avaya’s R&D department, I discovered first-hand how Avaya plans to revive the desk phone once and for all.

Getting to Know the New Vantage Desk Phone

I had the opportunity this summer to see the Avaya R&D centre for myself. During my time there, I discovered a number of exceptional innovations, including technologies that weren’t yet ready to go to market. By far, one of the most interesting products I saw while exploring Avaya, was the “Vantage” device – Avaya’s Android-based desk phone.

As other companies strive to take the hardware out of their portfolios, Avaya is launching a desktop revolution, by investing in the hardware that will take your communication and collaboration experience to the next level. The Avaya Vantage desk phone is the only device in the industry giving companies the flexibility and functionality of a desk phone, and an application management platform. You can access everything you need for UC&C in one exceptionally cool looking device.

The Vantage device looks just like a touch-screen tablet or video phone. It sits on the desktop and connects to your LAN (local area network) too. It’s got a microphone, speaker, and a camera available – so it’s everything you’d expect from a modern desk phone. However, it’s so much more than that too.

Build your Own Communication and Collaboration

Perhaps one of the most compelling things about the Avaya Vantage desk phone is that it’s an open platform solution and it’s officially certified by Google. The ‘certified by Google’ label doesn’t just look good on the Vantage product, it also means that you can run any Google Play store application on your Avaya Vantage, and it will work harmoniously on the device. A big tick in the box for CIOs.

Google certification also means that any Avaya software you put onto your advice will be able to take advantage of all the extra functionalities and capabilities on the Google Play store too. For example you could run your CRM software on it, your hotel PMS, the possibilities are endless.

The Vantage Phone also has an SDK (Software Developer’s Kit) which takes it beyond being “just a tablet.” Your Avaya IP phone will allow you to bake new capabilities, into your device, with a range of completely free SDKs. It’s worth noting, there are no licenses required on all platforms and apps across the Avaya Portfolio now. You can also download the Equinox client SDK and choose your preferred flavour of UC&C solution.

Avaya has shown us that anyone can just put a tablet on a desk with a microphone and webcam, but it takes something special to provide the flexibility that today’s companies need. This real-time communications device is designed to suit exactly what you need to run your business, with infinite possibilities and flexibility.

It’s a software developer’s haven in terms of innovation.

More than Just a Communication Device

One of the exciting features of the Vantage phone, and a concept that helps to make it more than just a communication device is the presence of virtual assistant support. The popularity of virtual assistants in the consumer world has paved the way for more demand in the business space too. In fact, the virtual digital assistant market is set to be worth more than 15 billion dollars by 2021.

By bringing AI onto the desktop, Avaya is changing the position of the average desk phone and transforming it into a hub of productivity. With things like virtual assistants, we’ll be able to access information faster, process data better, and collaborate with greater efficiency than ever before. There’s no need to be running a virtual assistant on your PC while you’re handling a conference or collaboration session – everything is available on the Vantage to assist you throughout your day.

The Vantage isn’t just a communication device; it’s a collaboration hub, a virtual personal assistant, and a solution ready to integrate with all your existing applications, databases, and critical systems. It unlocks the potential of your workplace.

Everything is Doable – Real Time Translation

One quote that stuck with me during my time at the Avaya R&D headquarters was:

“Imagination is required because everything is doable.”

Thanks to an open SDK device, with free-to-use customisation options, exceptional voice, state-of-the-art video, and everything you need on the same device, the Vantage is a very powerful proposition. There’s a huge opportunity here for Avaya to truly bring the endpoint back to the desktop in a unique way.

One concept that I saw while I was at the R&D lab – which isn’t ready for market yet – was real-time translation. The system meant that users could pick up an Avaya Vantage endpoint, make a call in English to their French office, and listen to both the person speaking French on the other end and the real-time translation of that voice into English at the same time. What’s more, the Vantage screen also automatically transcribed the call, for a fantastic set of real-time subtitles ready to support the call.

Though the real-time translation idea is very much in concept stage, it’s a great insight into what’s possible with Avaya and the right endpoint. I saw first hand the kind of innovation that Avaya can deliver to the desk phone, and how they can bring it back to life in the business world.

Desk Phones Aren’t Dead: They’re Just Changing

Ultimately, my trip to the Avaya labs showed me just how powerful the company’s vision of the perfect business desk phone is, not to mention the future of business collaboration solutions. The Vantage device is an incredible insight into where the endpoint market could be heading, with plenty of new opportunities available on the horizon from a data and AI perspective too.

The world-class innovation available from Avaya today shows that the era of the desktop endpoint isn’t over, it’s simply evolving.

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