Avaya's Scopia will save on trips

BY NEKIESHA REID Business reporter

Friday, September 21, 2012

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SCOPIA, a new video technology launched in Jamaica yesterday by business communications provider Avaya, could save companies millions in travel expenses and increased productivity.

The videoconferencing software, developed by Tel-Aviv based company Radvision Limited, connects users in a virtual room, said Gaby Koren, Radvision's regional general manager.

Acquired by Avaya last year, the video telephony development company launched Scopia Desktop in 2007. The latest version, which works on any computer or telephone, was released three years later.

"Radvision software will work on any device," Koren said. "Consumers aren't limited to any one in particular."

Jamaica is the first country in the Caribbean to get the technology, which allows an iPhone to set up a video call with Android, Windows, and BlackBerry users at the same time, so long as they are in part of the world where the service is offered.

The need for travel is therefore reduced, said Paulo Manzato, Avaya's managing director for the Caribbean, noting that business trips can easily run to as much as US$12,000 ($1 million), depending on the number of people going.

That's almost as much as the one-time cost of setting up Scopia, according to Manzato.

"Our software is free," Manzato said, but associated licensing fees will cost companies at least US$15,000.

Avaya is based in the US and is responsible for outfitting most of Jamaica's call centres with the phones and exchange equipment on which the industry depends.

Avaya also provides the cloud technology used by companies such as serviced-office supplier The Business District, although it is accessed through telecommunications providers such as Digicel.

Though still being introduced to the region, Scopia already has at least two buyers.

"Digicel and LIME have both bought it," Manzato said, adding that Jamaica's network infrastructure is "more than capable" of supporting videoconferencing.




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