Avaya offers virtual meetings, SaaS-style

Avaya this week updated its enterprise virtual collaboration software and started offering it in a software-as-a-service model.

Avaya web.alive is a web collaboration platform for businesses that uses a client software download to establish a virtual meeting or conference room or auditorium, with participants represented as avatars. The software is designed to facilitate virtual meetings in which participants do not have to physically travel to a fixed destination but can participate virtually via the avatars and software-based meeting facilities.

The new software-as-a-service purchasing option makes web.alive available through a monthly subscription for individual hosts or via annual concurrent user-based pricing. It costs $49 per month for a single host and will be available March 1.

Customers can also opt to install and manage the software on their own servers, Avaya says.

In addition to the purchasing options, Version 2.5 of web.alive includes the following new capabilities:

• A 3D audio engine designed to help participants better identify and understand who is speaking and their location within the environment.

• Desktop sharing and cooperative Web browsing collaboration tools.

• An Avaya Aura SIP interface to allow participants to join a collaboration session via the telephone or inside of the web.alive environment.

• New templates to design environments customized for a company or host.

• A downloadable software development kit to enable customers or hosts to create and upload their own custom content.

• Analytical data to gain insight into traffic and conversation patterns, sales and presentation effectiveness, and travel savings.

Carroll University in Waukesha, Wis., has been using web.alive since last summer for supplemental instruction, international education and virtual academic advising. The university has saved more than $18,000 in travel expenses, says John Arechavala, director of IT infrastructure services for Carroll.

Avaya web.alive competes with other collaboration vendors' immersive 3D virtual experience software, including those offering Linden Labs' Second Life. Cisco uses Second Life for virtual experiences.

Read more about software in Network World's Software section.

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Tags SaaSsocial mediacloud computinginternetunified communicationsNetworkingcollaborationsoftwareapplicationsWeb 2.0AvayaSoftware as a serviceInternet-based applications and services

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