Overview and Details
IP Softphone makes it easy to place and receive phone calls from your PC or laptop, making it ideal for teleworking applications. It gives the user a choice of simple Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) and integrates well with Microsoft desktop applications such as Outlook and Internet Explorer, enabling click to dial and screen pops. There are options to add Instant Messaging and Presence as well as videoconferencing for enhanced collaboration capabilities.
Avaya IP Softphone integrates a flexible IP telephone client with a SIP/SIMPLE-based Instant Messaging (IM) client. It incorporates a contact list of other IP Softphone users and makes both phone and IM presence visible to other users. It is simple to toggle between the softphone and IM applications. The IM and presence capabilities require registering with the Avaya SIP Enablement Service (SES) platform, which is available separately.
The IP Softphone telephone client can be configured for VoIP mode or Multi-phone mode. The VoIP configuration is suitable for users who have a single, broadband connection from their home office or remote location. In VoIP mode, the audio and call control signaling are run across the IP network for a "pure voice over IP" configuration, and offers a great amount of flexibility due to the ubiquity of IP networking. The Multi-phone configuration is ideally suited for users working from a remote office with two lines for remote access. With this option, call control signaling is maintained and delivered across the IP network, but the voice is delivered across a second line to either a public switched telephone network or digital line to help ensure toll-quality voice. This capability can be extended to any touch-tone phone or cellular phone. In the Multi-phone configuration, the Avaya communications server "binds" the two connections as a single session.
The IP Softphone can also be configured for shared control of either Avaya IP telephones or Avaya digital telephones. The Avaya IP telephone configuration enables users to log into and control their Avaya IP telephone from the Avaya IP Softphone. Users can speak and listen through their telephone, but unlike the Multi-Phone configuration, users can make and handle calls from both the Avaya IP Softphone interface and the IP telephone. This feature can help improve productivity by integrating the IP Softphone capabilities and Personal Information Managers, such as Microsoft Outlook, with the IP Telephone. The Avaya IP Telephone configuration is supported on the Avaya 4601, 4602, 4610, 4612, 4620, 4621, 4622, 4624, 4625 and 4630 IP Telephones with release 1.7 or later.
Similarly, the Avaya DCP Telephone configuration enables users to log into and control their traditional digital telephone from the Avaya IP Softphone. This capability is supported on Avaya 2400 and 6400 series phones. It also requires Avaya Communication Manager 2.0 and higher.
IP Softphone offers two primary user interfaces; a simple to use "call bar" view in which features are accessed via menu options and a "picture of phone" view that emulates the user's desktop telephone.
With the introduction of Avaya IP Softphone 5.1, there is a new mode of operation for the IP Softphone called IM-only mode. In this mode, the Instant Messaging capability of IP Softphone can be used independently of the other modes of operation. For those who like to use IP Softphone in telecommuter mode or road warrior mode but not shared control mode, IM-only mode enables them to use IM from their desktop when they are "in the office". It also allows Digital phone users with pre-2.0 versions of Avaya Communication Manager to avail themselves of Instant Messaging. (Note that Instant Messaging does require the Avaya SIP Enablement Services or SES Platform in all instances).
Please note that the user's phone presence (on-hook, off-hook, etc) can be visible to other presence-enabled IP Softphone users in all but the IM-only mode of operation. Of course, this requires registration with the Avaya SES Platform
An integrator module is available for Avaya IP Softphone that streamlines video call setup using standard web cams. It also helps integrate desktop video conferencing with Polycom group videoconferencing systems. Known as Avaya Video Integrator 2.0, this software module automatically identifies whether the far-end is video-enabled and establishes a video connection automatically. Avaya IP Telephony features such as hold, transfer, forward and cover can be applied to a video call. When desired - the video call can be dropped and the audio path remains active.
Avaya Video Integrator 2.0 will work in shared control mode, telecommuter mode or road warrior mode. When used in shared-control mode the Avaya IP or Digital telephone can be used for the audio path. Avaya Video Integrator 2.0 requires IP Softphone 5.2 and is available as a free download from the Avaya Support web site.