Aastra 400 makes video conferencing accessible to SMBs

Aastra has evolved its award winning Aastra 400 communication servers to make video conferencing and collaboration more easily available to small and medium sized businesses (SMBs).

With 55 million businesses worldwide classified as SMBs, accounting for 65% of global GDP, the video conferencing market for this segment remains relatively untapped, representing around one quarter of video conferencing units currently sold. According to Frost & Sullivan*, the video market for SMBs is ripe for adoption, provided that the new technology results in cost savings, increased productivity, compelling ROI and a positive impact on the operational side of the business.

The launch of the Aastra 400 2.1 addresses these requirements and brings a number of new enhancements to the Aastra 400, including the ability to integrate the communications servers with the Aastra BluStar TM Ecosystem portfolio of video conferencing solutions. As a result, businesses with up to 600 employees have a cost effective and simple way of implementing and managing high definition video communications within their organisations. No matter where they are based, teams can work more effectively together using video collaboration – a medium which is particularly valuable for organisations with multiple branches, mobile employees or operations in different countries.

With the new version of the Aastra 400, businesses across all sectors can benefit from multimedia collaboration, accessing video from a choice of devices and clients. Knowledge workers and executives may prefer the BluStar 8000i Desktop Media Phone. The Aastra’s BluStar for PC, BluStar for iPad and BluStar for iPhone are ideal for wider deployments across the organisation, or for employees on the move. Regardless of the device or client used, Aastra’s focus remains on providing the best customer video experience for SMBs, wherever they are located.

Guenter Kreis, Head of Product Line Management for Aastra 400 comments, “With the Aastra 400 2.1 we have lowered the barriers to video adoption for SMBs. Our video solution meets all the needs of an SMB – it can be fully integrated with our call manager, is competitively priced and has a short return on investment. With the exceptionally high audio and video quality available with our BluStar product portfolio, SMBs can experience truly natural collaboration wherever they are, without the need to travel or meet in the same room. Not only does this save costs, but it also improves productivity, mapping on to Aastra’s strategy of ensuring that SMBs can operate as efficiently as possible.”

Alaa Saayed, Senior Analyst, Unified Communications and Collaboration at Frost & Sullivan, says, “In the current climate SMBs are competing in a global economy and often against large enterprises. For this reason, the SMBs are investing in their IT infrastructure and looking for ways to be more productive and efficient with their operations. Collaboration solutions such as video are established methods for reducing costs and enhancing productivity, and SMBs are increasingly adopting this technology to become more competitive.”

Aastra has made this latest release even more channel friendly – with shorter installation times and less training required for the installer. With the Aastra 400 2.1, the communication server is easier to set up and manage. It comes with predefined settings for known and certified SIP providers and has a simpler and quicker set up for SIP trunks.

In terms of WebAdmin enhancements, an intuitive GUI now provides an excellent graphical overview of routing, even for very complex configurations. This provides a better overview of a customer’s configuration.

Alan Reeve, Managing Director, Aastra UK & Ireland comments: “This is a hugely effective way for SMBs to be more cost effective when using video conferencing as a tool within their organisation. The multimedia collaboration is just one of the features that the new version of the Aastra 400 has to benefit businesses across all sectors.”

Amongst additional general enhancements to the Aastra 400 2.1 is an embedded fax server, which is pre-installed and easy to roll out across an organisation. This enables users to receive faxes via their emails or as a PDF document and to send faxes via email or their printer driver, using their local Outlook contacts.

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