Avaya just released the R9.1 firmware version for their popular IP Office platform. What’s new you might ask?
Here is a basic overview of the changes being made:
- New Premium Offering
- IP Office Server Edition Improvements
- System expansions and increased resiliency
- IP Office When Deployed as a Branch Improvements
- Aura System Manager and central management
- Aura centralized applications, services, and solutions
- Branch VM Pro and centralized management
- IP Office Unified Communications and Video
- New mobile VoIP client enhancements
- Lync Plugin enhancements
- Exchange 2013 integration
- Avaya Communicator (Flare) enhancements
- IP Office Key Feature Improvements
- New system capacity expansion
- SIP service provider (SIP Trunk) features
- SSL/VPN remote access and continued IPOSS support improvements
- Communications accessibility
- Call center enhancements
- IP Office Web Manager Evolution
- Expanded integration of management capabilities
- Sever Edition and Standard Editions
- IP Office Security Enhancements
- TLS and SRTP support for SIP traffic
- Encryption of all H.323 traffic via Line, Trunk, and SCN
IP Office R9.1 will be supported on the following platforms:
- IP500 V2
- IP Office for Linux (Server Edition, Virtualized Server Edition, Select Edition)
Some major changes that may affect people wanting to upgrade to R9.1:
- Discontinued support for: IP401, IP403, IP406, IP406 V2, IP412, IP500 V1, or Small Office Edition platforms
- Discontinued support for: IP400 Trunk Cards, IP400 VCM Cards, IP400 Digital Station V1, IP400 Phone V1, IP400 So8, and IP500 Legacy Card Carrier
- Discontinued support for: Customer Call Reporter (CCR/Advanced Edition). Existing customers will need to migrate to the new IP Office Contact Center Solution.
For more information, see General Availability (GA) of IP Office Release 9.1 for details.
The Spider is Phoenix Audio’s latest top of line conference phone series delivering HD audio, noise/echo cancellation, dual connectivity, as well as the popular daisy chaining capability. The SIP version MT505 connects to SIP service via Ethernet cable or your computer via USB, while the PSTN version MT502 connects with your analog phone line as well as computer via USB.
- Bridging between USB and VoIP/SIP/IP
- Use alone or daisy chainable up to 14 units of MT503 or Quattro3’s
- Interactive dial pad with backlights
- 4 mic beamforming array with directional LED lighting
- DSP based algorithms: echo canceling, noise reduction, de-reverb, automatic gain control
- SIP version supports PoE (Power over Ethernet)
Upon opening the package, we can see the Phoenix Audio Spider conference phone came well packed with foam cushioning and cut-outs to prevent shifting damage during transit. The content includes the Spider conference phone, 48V power supply with international adapters, USB cable, and Ethernet cable for SIP version (phone cable instead for PSTN version).
The Phoenix Audio Spider aluminum casing has a more matte finish to help prevent unpleasant finger prints. At 7″ diameter and 1-7/8″ in height the Spider is discrete and visually pleasing. Phoenix Audio also added foam lining to the bottom of the unit to help keep it in place and prevent scratches. The soft-touch keypad is back-lit when active or off when the unit is on standby.
Initial boot-up took a couple minutes then from there on the set-up was pretty simple via Spider’s GUI interface – just minutes after plugging in we are having our first test call. The menu options are pretty self-explanatory via on-screen prompts, but you can also check the user manual for a flow-chart. The settings can be changed both manually on the unit itself or via its web interface.
We tested using the Spider conference phone from various distances up to 7 feet away and is happy to say our voices were picked up very well. Our voices sounded clear and natural for the caller on the other side with minimal or no background noises. The Spider’s proprietary directional beamforming array (seen by blue LED light under Spider’s grill) followed each speaker’s voice around the room with stunning accuracy. (Note: For those who don’t enjoy LED light shows, the red and blue lights can be turned off via menu option.) In conclusion, an individual Phoenix Audio Spider unit would be sufficient for any small to mid-sized conference room and a good conference phone to consider. For larger settings you can daisy-chain up to 14 sub-units for additional expansion.
As part of its brand transformation after purchasing Aastra, Mitel announced end-of-life for Aastra 675xi series SIP IP phones to make way for Mitel’s new and improved 6800i series. For those wanting to continue with the Aastra 6700i series, the 673xi series are a great substitute as well.
If you liked Aastra 6757i SIP phone:
- Mitel 6867i, part of the new 6800i series IP phones, offers higher spec at a lower price point. Additional features include color LCD display, dual Gigabit Ethernet ports, native HD hardware for true HD voice quality.
- Alternatively, Aastra 6737i provide same look and price range as 6757i plus more features like dual Gigabit Ethernet ports and native HD hardware for true HD voice quality.
If you liked Aastra 6755i SIP phone:
- Mitel 6867i would also serve as a good step up from 6755i with additional features like 10 programmable softkeys (no paper label keys), EHS/DHSG headset port, and wider range of accessories (including expansion modules).
- Or go with Aastra 6735i which provide same look and price range plus additional features like dual Gigabit Ethernet ports and native HD hardware for true HD voice quality.
If you liked Aastra 6753i SIP phone:
- Mitel 6865i, part of the new 6800i series IP phone, offers higher spec and competitive pricing with its larger LCD display, dual Gigabit Ethernet ports, and native HD hardware for true HD voice quality.
Many users who are looking for more mobile freedom while still keeping great call quality and business phone features are turning to cordless IP DECT phone systems. There are many cordless DECT phone options in today’s market, but two of the most popular are Yealink’s W52P and Panasonic’s KX-TGP500. With similar price ranges, below is a quick comparison between the 2 models.
- Indoor range: 50m
- Outdoor range: 300m
- Color screen: Yes
- Simultaneous calls: 4
- SIP Accounts: Up to 5
- Cordless Handsets: Up to 5 (W52H)
- HD Voice: Yes, handset with wideband
- Speaker: Full-Duplex
- Talk time: +10 hours, 100 hours standby
- PoE: Integrated PoE (Class 1)
- ECO Mode: Yes
- Cat-iq 2.0: Yes
- Remote Phonebook: Yes
- On-screen conferencing instructions
- Special: Increase range with up to 6 repeaters (RT10)
- See Yealink W52P Product & pricing
- Indoor range: 50m
- Outdoor range: 300m
- Color screen: No, grayscale
- Simultaneous calls: 3
- SIP Accounts: Up to 8
- Cordless Handsets: Up to 6 (KX-TPA50B04)
- HD Voice: HD Codec on DECT radio
- Speaker: Half-Duplex
- Talk time: Up to 5 hours, 240 hours standby
- PoE: No
- ECO Mode: No
- Cat-iq 2.0: No
- Remote Phonebook: No
- No on-screen conferencing instructions
- See Panasonic KX-TGP500 Product & Pricing