Avaya-Nortel merger ups 'plug & play' communications bid

Avaya-Nortel merger ups 'plug & play' communications bid

After its much-publicized move to buy enterprise communications provider Nortel, Avaya on Wednesday unveiled its roadmap for the next several years, taking a keen focus on enabling "plug and play" communications and an open architecture for enterprise communications solutions.

While other vendors are poised to dominate the communications market by creating proprietary systems, executives from Avaya said they are taking a "wrap and embrace" approach--instead of the traditional "rip and replace" method--by looking into deploying communications solutions on top of firms' existing systems and technologies.

"We want to simplify the approach to communication, and consolidate all the existing platforms into a single system," explained Ray Teske, regional director for Avaya ASEAN.

Teske said that for Avaya, this meant fortifying its offering that banks on an open architecture, where users can leverage existing hardware and infrastructure, significantly lowering overhead costs. "Avaya Aura, our IP communications platform, is the only open platform that allows building applications on SIP (Session Initiation Protocol)," he stressed.

Avaya Aura, which was formally launched in the country only late last year, is a system deployable on top of existing hardware, which allows multi-vendor legacy system to connect to a single platform to deliver consistent information, functional through what the company calls an open SIP architecture.

"SIP will do for communications what HTML has done for the Web," Teske points out. "SIP is ubiquitous and standardized, which allows for innovation. 'Open' is the keyword here."

Teske said Avaya's merger with Nortel allowed the company to expedite its course through offering a robust unified communications platform. Among other things that beefed up the Avaya portfolio due to the Nortel acquisition, Teske said Avaya ACE (Agile Communications Environment) is one of the most significant.

"Avaya ACE allows people who use ERP, CRM, CTI and other business software to write applications in a language that they understand," Teske pointed out, adding that ACE simplifies this task by allowing people to access information using a standard interface.

Teske illustrated the example of a company telephone directory which can be developed through ACE, where the system can simply probe contact information from various PBX and communications systems and present the information in a single interface throughout the enterprise.

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