As you might expect, video conferencing and business messaging companies are working on different ways to help people and businesses cope with the extended work-from-home and quarantine restrictions happening due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Most businesses have found ways to stay connected with their employees by employing business continuity processes. The reality has been more difficult for students and educators, who aren’t as adept at distance-learning and collaboration and are struggling to find tools to maintain some semblance of normalcy.
Leading video conferencing tools like Cisco Webex, Google Hangouts, and Microsoft Teams have been made available for free for businesses and individuals. These solutions cater mostly to the needs of small to midsized businesses (SMBs) and enterprise and may not fit the requirements of schools and non-profit organizations.
Avaya has responded to the crisis by making its collaborative solution available for free for eligible non-profits as well as colleges and universities. Avaya Spaces is an integrated cloud meeting and team collaboration solution with chat, voice, video, online meetings, and content sharing capabilities. Avaya Spaces has enabled 15,000 remote workers at one of our nation’s largest banks to go remote, it has been used by 10,000 remote contact center workers for a prominent healthcare company working directly with the White House on COVID-19 efforts, and since the outbreak has seen a 500 percent increase in video collaboration traffic on the Avaya Spaces platform.
(Photo courtesy of Avaya)
“Coronavirus (COVID-19) is impacting the lives of people around the globe and every day we hear new sobering stories about the very real health and safety implications of the spread of this virus,” said Jim Chirico, CEO of Avaya. “There is an especially immediate need in the education sector as school and university administrators consider the safety of their students while ensuring continuity of their classes, engagement with their students and delivering on their educational objectives. Avaya has four million UC and contact center seats in the state, local government and education market worldwide – so we understand the demands of that sector and targeted our Avaya Spaces offer accordingly.”
Avaya Spaces is provided at no charge to educational and nonprofit organizations worldwide through August 31, 2020. Educational or charitable organizations that would like to take advantage of this offer can fill out the form here.
“Avaya Spaces was designed to support nearly any kind of team. In a learning environment for example, class content can be posted for on-demand access, teachers and students can leave messages and chat among each other, as well enjoy a real-time virtual classroom with HD video and screen sharing. Business teams can meet virtually over HD video, share presentations, create content repositories for projects, and chat – all with users inside and outside their organizations,” an Avaya spokesperson said. Individuals and businesses wanting to try out the solution can try out the business version of Avaya Spaces are available for free for 90 days.
In terms of system requirements, Avaya Spaces is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution. It uses WebRTC technology, so an end user just needs to login with their web browser – there is no download required for Windows or macOS. For mobile devices, the Spaces app is available through Google Play or the Apple App Store. Users will ideally have desktops or laptops outfitted with video cameras and microphones to enable clear and smooth audio and video communications.
(Photo courtesy of Avaya)
Avaya Spaces offers a variety of features including, personal meeting room in the cloud, voice and video conferencing for up to 500 Participants. Up to 35 participants simultaneously visible, desktop and application sharing,1-to-1 video calling, local phone dial-in in over 20 countries, direct and team messaging, file sharing, group task management, and integration with Outlook, Google Calendar, Slack, and Microsoft Teams.