POTD – Local Kohls

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In today’s Phone Of the Day I recently took this picture of a Mitel IP 5212 set (if memory serves me)  at the Bedford NH store. This Kohls has a few IP telsets and boatloads of analog sets all across the sales floor. There are no sets near the fitting rooms. This store was built within the last five years around the time where perhaps Kohls was in a position of like a dysfunctional marriage: Do I stand with my man? (i.e. sticking to Avaya.) Don’t forget in early 2010s there was a bunch of doubt whether if Avaya would continue in supporting an overrated brand of telephony equipment. There is probably many reasons why in newer stores (of which popped up in my area, as their stores came to my area around 2002 – of which the Norstar 7200s are still in use in those locations) and other reasons such as higher maintenance contracts if you go through Avaya directly and the change of the user interface.

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Despite the UI emulation of Norstar (newer versions of Avaya Red’s IP Office) or Meridian 1 (Aura/insert every brand after System 75);  Avaya has been pushing users to “Aura” and the   Avaya Red metaphor (use of “call appearances” for in/outbound lines; less focus on features programmed directly on the set, etc.) Avaya Blue allegedly used a “simple” or “minimal” set design, but you were extremely limited in handling inbound calls and even changing the ring tone required Masters in Telecommunications. If users had a Norstar, half the headaches of changing stupid things like ring tones was easier as opposed to say M2000 sets where there wasn’t even any soft keys and oh yeah – there were menu driven functions if you had a screen – and that volume key wasn’t just for volume. In an Avaya Red (pre 9600 series), alls I needed to do to change the ring tone was to hit Conference till I hit my favorite pitch, need I say more? No feature codes or anything with a star plus two digits.

So much for simplicity right?

You know my opinion, there was reason why Avaya Red owned the enterprise and to be quite honest its about time to sunset away from confusing, technical, worse anti user phone systems.

If I were to recommend customers to a non Avaya solution, I’d recommend Mitel myself. Modern Mitel systems kinda are half and half of the Avaya Red/Blue in terms of user interfaces, administrative processes and set design, etc. albeit a tad different.

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