Unified Communications Featured Article

Special Olympics Athletes Stay Connected at Winter Games with Avaya UC

February 13, 2009

Thanks to the Avaya Unified Communications portfolio, athletes participating in this week’s 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games were able to communicate with teammates, coaches and staff via personal video calls.

Using a PC or notebook computer, athletes were able to place high-quality video calls as easily as making a regular phone call.
The 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games kicked off on Monday, February 7th and will conclude on Friday, February 13th.
The event is held in seven different sporting venues in Idaho, including Sun Valley, Bogus Basin, Qwest Arena and others, with the headquarters and main festival location in Boise. The event attracted close to 2,500 athletes from more than 100 countries.
Using technology from Avaya’s Unified Communications portfolio, athletes enjoyed live video conversations with teammates and others in Olympics Towns located in Boise, Sun Valley or McCall, Idaho. Once they were connected, they were able to visually and verbally communicate their encouragement and excitement about the day's snow shoeing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing and other events.
Working behind the scenes to make this experience possible, the easy-to-use Avaya one-X Communicator provided the athletes with desktop video, visual voicemail, rich presence, access to e-mail and instant messaging, conference bridge integration and other productivity tools. From a single interface, just one mouse click can launch virtually any form of communication, including various applications. The one-X Communicator interface gives users reliability, convenience and enhances productivity.
Last year, Avaya, Extreme Networks, Juniper Networks and S1 IT Solutions, deployed a powerful network for the 2008 Special Olympics Invitational Winter Games also supported this year’s games. The Avaya Communication Manager IP Telephony software was extended from the Boise event headquarters to all 28 sport and non-sport locations. The high availability network from Extreme Networks includes Gigabit performance with superior quality of service for voice traffic and secure wired and wireless access.
With Avaya Unified Communications’ mobility features, staff members can transform their cell phones into another endpoint on the event network. With this technology, callers can dial a staff member’s extension to instantly reach them no matter where they are located.  The software also provides built-in, Meet-Me audio conferencing, which helps cut the cost of using hosted or separate systems.
Avaya, Extreme Networks, Juniper Networks and S1 IT Solutions donated all the communications and data networking products, solutions and implementation services for Special Olympics Winter Games.
The company is a global innovator in enterprise communications systems. The company provides unified communications, contact centers, and related services directly and through its channel partners to businesses and organizations all over the world. With Avaya’s state-of-the-art communications, businesses improve their efficiency, collaboration, customer service and competitiveness.
With more participating athletes than the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Winter Games, the World Winter Games was the largest multi-day winter sporting event ever held in Idaho. Competition took place in seven winter sports -- Alpine Skiing, Cross-Country Skiing, Figure Skating, Floor Hockey, Snowboarding, Snowshoeing and Speed Skating.

Michelle Robart is a contributing editor for unified communications. To read more of Michelle's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Michelle Robart

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