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Global telecommunications giant Avaya has partnered with Digicel to enhance productivity and reduce communication costs at Jamaican private and public sector enterprises.

Avaya Aura, the Unified Communications platform supported by Digicel's 4G network in the country, is set to reduce roaming charges by 70 per cent and cut human capital costs by more than a tenth.

"It allows people to work faster and communicate more efficiently," said Rodrigo Cuello, Avaya's country manager for Jamaica, at a conference this week to introduce the new technology to the local market.

Avaya’s aim with its Unified Communications system is to simplify technologies that companies have to deal with daily. Its “customer-friendly solutions” integrate voice, video and data, enabling users to communicate and collaborate in real time, the company said.

The platform promises to inject value into the domestic telephony industry, including improved efficiency for businesses, collaboration, enhanced customer service and, ultimately, competitiveness. Importantly, it fits well with Government’s mandate to improve the public sector delivery system in order for it to function effectively and efficiently as the facilitator of the private sector.

Unified Communications is particularly suitable for organisations with a field-based employee contingent, Cuello said, noting that it extends productivity at the office to road-based employees, allowing them "to work more effectively, communicate easily and better serve customers."

Its main feature, Video Collaboration, allows on-site and remote workers to interact via videoconferences on computing devices, including smart phones. In facilitating virtual face-to-face meetings between staff members, it allows businesses to cut 30 per cent off travel expenses and save valuable production time.

"The challenge of the 'mobility' generation is how to keep them working, make them even more productive regardless of the device or smart phone they chose to use," said Cuello, adding that recent research by Avaya shows that 50 per cent of “Information workers” globally are working away from the office.

Digicel 4G, which enables it with data speeds 15 times faster than traditional networks, powers Unified Communications, said Suzanne Saunders, head of business solutions at Digicel Business. "We are a team with world class strengths," said Saunders.
“As technology evolves and new innovations are released, it is important that businesses of all sizes have a solid company they can rely on for their communication systems,” she said.

Avaya has been working in the Caribbean with Digicel for the past three years, and recently made the Jamaica-based telecom its Gold Partner in the region. Solutions from Avaya are therefore provided directly through Digicel, one of the largest providers of ICT solutions to corporate and government entities.

Digicel has over 50 sales and service professionals certified on Avaya Aura, and Saunders said she is proud of the benefits her company has been able to bring local businesses through the use of the platform.

The system facilitates employees with seamless access to familiar interfaces and corporate resources – from anywhere they are at a particular time, workers can turn an instant message into a conference call or even answer their desk phone.

What’s more is that the platform is vendor neutral, integrating systems, devices and applications from a variety of vendors.

The solution is geared towards businesses of all sizes. Most, if not all businesses are faced with the same challenges in today’s marketplace, the Digicel executive concluded.
"They all have to find a way to cut costs, leverage their existing investments, ensure their business’ continuity, increase productivity and improve customer service,” said Saunders.
Digicel and Avaya will help companies maintain existing features and systems, while incrementally adding new technologies, she said.

Cuello added that Unified Communications facilitates flexible workgroups, which enable faster problem resolution. "Collaboration among workers accelerates decision-making and provides a faster remedy to issues that arise," he said.



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