LAS VEGAS--I took a tour on Wednesday of the temporary InteropNet network set up to supply the communications needs of this IT conference and trade show and was impressed that companies which are often battling for enterprise customers were able to cooperate to deploy this massive wired and wireless network.
18/04/2013 - Avaya's new network fabric supports tens of thousands of video streams for IP multicasting
Avaya unveiled on Wednesday its VENA Fabric Connect that supports tens of thousands of video streams for IP multicasting.
VENA Fabric Connect provides a new model for IP multicasting which increases its scalability and resiliency, Avaya explained in a release.
In addition, IP multicasting over Fabric Connect uses a single protocol, provides fast failover times, enables single command configuration for end points, drives network traffic through the shortest latent path and supports multi-tenant functionality for virtualization.
"The IP multicast capability enables enterprises to turn on IP multicast routing without the complexity of traditional routing protocols," explained Paul Unbehagen, chief architect for Avaya Networking.
Unbehagen said that in the financial industry, for example, IP multicast is used for stock trading applications. In addition, the security industry uses IP multicasting for video surveillance, he added.
"A lot of enterprises have been struggling to deploy IP multicasting, or even avoiding it because of the number of protocols they have to run," Unbehagen told FierceEnterpriseCommunications. "With the IP multicasting extension to our Fabric technology, they just type in a single command and that enables it automatically."
In addition, Avaya announced its VSP 4000, a fabric-enabled multi-service/multi-tenancy device that extends the VENA Fabric Connect across the network to the campus, metro or wide area network edge in order to connect to remote offices. Avaya said the device reduces the network complexity and increases network agility and uptime for enterprises deploying virtualization technology.
VSP 4000 is the "first of its kind to enable all of the Fabric functionality that Avaya provides… It provides Layer 2 and Layer 3 VSN [virtual service network] capabilities," Unbehagen explained.
Avaya will deploy its VENA Fabric Connect product as the network backbone of the upcoming Interop conference being held in Las Vegas next month.
- see Avaya's release
ORLANDO, Fla.-- Enterprises are adopting WebRTC "as fast as it is coming out," David Jodoin, chief innovation officer at Thrupoint, told an audience Monday at EnterpriseConnect 2013.
Jodoin predicted that WebRTC would be "transformational" for enterprise communications.
Thrupoint provides an "on-ramp" for WebRTC for enterprise infrastructure to communicate with vendors such as Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO), Avaya and Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT). "We build WebRTC solutions that allow you to use your existing infrastructure," Jodoin explained.
WebRTC has a range of enterprises uses that fall into two broad categories--employee-to-employee communication and customer service--explained Val Matula, senior director of multimedia research at Avaya.
One possible use is as a unified communications client, enabling audio and video collaboration either to an enterprise server or a cloud-based server, Matula explained.
One-touch video is another enterprise use of WebRTC--"the idea that you can send an email to someone and at the bottom say 'click here and connect with me,'" he said. Yet another enterprise use of WebRTC is videoconferencing.
On the customer service side, WebRTC can be used for web assistance, such as voice and video collaboration between the customer service representative and the customers. Matula stressed that the nature of the collaboration will depend on the type of service being discussed. For healthcare issues, video and voice might be needed, while for retail voice might be sufficient.
Jim Donovan, vice president of enterprise product management at Acme Packet (Nasdaq: APKT), predicted that WebRTC will "revolutionize" unified communications and collaboration.
At the same time, WebRTC "needs to work with the existing investment by enterprises… All of a sudden a new access framework comes along; we are not expecting you to go back and upgrade your SIP infrastructure just so it will work with WebRTC," he stressed.
WebRTC provides enterprises a "potential solution for providing unified communications on any device with a WebRTC-compatible browser," Donovan related. "It provides enterprises the ability to run UC applications independent of the UC vendor… It doesn't require any UC client plug-in or download," he added.
Cullen Jennings, distinguished engineer with Cisco, told a session earlier in the day that WebRTC enables real-time data between browsers and is interoperable with existing voice and video systems.
But Albert Kooiman, senior product marketing manager in the Enterprise Product Marketing Group at Microsoft's Skype division, threw some cold water on the panel's enthusiasm for WebRTC.
Kooiman disputed the claim that WebRTC is interoperable with existing systems. He stressed that the standardization issue is a problem that has yet to be solved.
For WebRTC in the enterprise, the "key element is that you need to be interoperable with all that is out there. That is the big caveat we have with all of the standardization efforts that are going on around WebRTC. The stuff that is out there is either not documented well or is based on principles that are not working with the existing legacy installed base," warned Kooiman.
Unified communications (UC) provider Avaya has unveiled a new enterprise session border controller (SBC) designed to beef up collaboration security for remote and mobile workers.
The new SBC provides enterprises with a way to secure SIP-based UC functions across networks, regardless of the employee's location. The new SBC is designed to enable enterprises to better manage BYOD threats, such as denial of service attacks, viruses and configuration errors.
"Avaya has created a secure edge device that goes well beyond SIP trunking and makes it possible for collaboration outside of the enterprise and provides security at the same time," Addis Hallmark, technical lead on UC for Avaya, told FierceEnterpriseCommunications.
The new Avaya SBC supports the Avaya Flare Experience on iPads and the Avaya one-X Mobile on iPhones, thereby providing employees using iOS devices with secure UC capabilities over public data networks.
Hallmark said the initial release only supports iOS platforms, but Avaya is developing software for other mobile platforms.
In addition, the new SBC enables secure remote access without the need for a virtual private network (VPN), which reduces operational costs and optimizes IP address usage, Avaya explained.
"All of this is being done with fully secured, fully encrypted endpoints but without relying on VPN to do it. VPN can be a cumbersome solution at times for unified communications endpoints," Hallmark explained.
Avaya was named as a leader in Gartner's most recent Magic Quadrant UC report, along with Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO), Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Siemens Enterprise Communications (NYSE: SI). Gartner noted that Avaya had acquired a number of companies to beef up its UC capabilities, including Sipera for security, Radvision for videoconferencing and Persony for web conferencing.
Commenting on the Avaya SBC release, Diane Myers, principal analyst at Infonetics Research, said it "makes sense for businesses, as SIP connectivity grows and security becomes a critical requirement for BYOD implementations. As more companies deploy UC interfaces on smartphones and tablets, the VPN-less capability found on the Avaya SBC will enable businesses to simplify, speed and ultimately increase collaboration across a remote workforce."
Avaya recently sponsored a U.K. poll about data security issues. The poll of 2,000 respondents by Sabio on behalf of Avaya found that close to half of them are concerned about contact centers as a possible source of personal data breaches, according to a report by IT Pro.
Along with the release of the new SBC product, Avaya said contact center outsourcing firm Teleperformance has selected the SBC to secure its contact center operations. The SBC enables Teleperformance to integrate its operations with its client networks security, thereby protecting client and customer conversations, Avaya related.
19/02/2013 - Radvision Unveils eVident and Scopia Elite 6000 MCUs
Keynote speakers at the sold-out conference being held in San Diego include Tony Bates, president of Microsoft's Skype Division, and Derek Burney, corporate vice president of Microsoft Lync Engineering. This is no coincidence, since Microsoft revealed last fall that it was moving its Lync product to its Skype division.
"This move aligns the best of our consumer and business solutions and will position Microsoft to continue to redefine how the world communicates at home, at work and on the go," Microsoft told telecom analyst Dave Michels.
The marriage of Lync and Skype makes sense from a UC perspective. Skype, which Microsoft acquired in 2011 for $8.5 billion, has been a leader in consumer VoIP, while the Lync UC platform fully supports SIP trunking for enterprises.
Microsoft's competitors are not letting the firm bask in the UC spotlight, though. Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO), for example, unveiled survey results on Monday that indicate IT professionals are not necessarily enamored with Microsoft when it comes to UC.
Close to half of 3,320 IT professionals surveyed by Redshift Research on behalf of Cisco said they do not use Lync for business-critical external communications, even though they have it deployed in their enterprise. In addition, three quarters of respondents believe it is important to maintain a separate communications system from Lync for users and calls requiring high quality and reliability.
Business-critical external communications include "a contact center agent who has to provide customer support to one of their customers, someone at a retail store trying to answer a question for a customer, an executive who has to do an important customer meeting, or a quarterly analyst call meeting," Michael Smith, senior director of marketing for collaboration applications at Cisco, told FierceEnterpriseCommunications.
"Among the IT populace there are concerns. 'You know, Lync is great for certain uses, but it is not the solution I use when I need a high quality solution.' That is not an acceptable scenario when dealing with a customer or partner," Smith said.
In addition, 80 percent of respondents expect to get enterprise voice and video from the cloud, something Cisco said it can deliver through its cloud-based Unified Communications Manager and its Hosted Collaboration Solution.
"Microsoft is playing catch-up... there are concerns with quality and reliability," wrote Carl Wiese, senior vice president of global collaboration sales with Cisco, in a blog.
Also, 87 percent of respondents want a single point of accountability for their UC product. Not surprisingly, Wiese argued that Cisco provides such a single point of accountability, while Microsoft's UC approach "involves a patch quilt of vendors."
Avaya also joined the party criticizing Microsoft. Microsoft's Lync product lacks the reliability needed for enterprise adoption, argued Vincenzo Signore, vice president of unified communications product management at Avaya.
"If you look at all of the modalities that include unified communications… Microsoft is a distant player in terms of market share," Signore told FierceEnterpriseCommunications.
A recent Webtorials survey of 200 IT professionals listed Cisco and Microsoft as the top two players in the UC market. At the same time, Gartner's Magic Quadrant UC report placed Avaya in the leaders' quadrant along with Cisco, Microsoft and Siemens Enterprise Communications.
Signore argued that Microsoft's Lync "has not proven to be of the same reliability as Avaya's technology," adding, "high reliability is a very important component of UC and that is one of the reasons why many customers are not going down the Lync path."
Microsoft's UC efforts have obviously raised alarms for its major competitors, prompting them to launch preemptive attacks before the Lync conference. So Microsoft must be doing at least something right.
Skype, VoIP taking business away from carriers
Webtorials: 75% of enterprises have partially or fully deployed UC
More than two-thirds of enterprise users want mobile UC features, according to BroadSoft survey
Gartner names Avaya, Cisco, Microsoft and Siemens as 2012 UC market leaders
Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO), Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Avaya were identified as the top three unified communications (UC) vendors by IT managers, according to a survey of 348 enterprise IT professionals conducted by TechTarget.
The TechTarget survey showed that around 22.7 percent of enterprises have fully deployed UC, while another 26.4 percent have deployed UC partially or fully for a small number of employees, according to a report on the survey by TechTarget's Kate Gerwig.
According to the survey, the most frequently deployed UC application was VoIP, followed by audio conferencing and web conferencing. The most significant enterprise benefit from UC was improved collaboration, followed by improved time to information and reduced communications cost.
The main obstacles to deploying UC were lack of trained IT staff, uncertain return on investment, difficulty of calculating up-front implementation costs and security concerns.
Surprisingly, 30 percent of respondents did not consider social media a UC application.
For Gartner, social media is seen as the next wave of UC. The first wave of UC involved the unification of telephony, voice mail, audio and web conferencing and contact center operations for the enterprise. The second wave expanded those services to include email, VoIP, instant messaging, presence and video conferencing, Gartner analysts related.
30/11/2012 - Infonetics: Cisco is the Ruler Among PBX Vendors
Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) beat back Avaya to keep the top revenue position in the PBX vendor market in the third quarter of 2012, according to the latest stats from Infonetics Research.
Cisco secured the top spot for the fifth consecutive quarter, while Avaya came in a close second. Together, the two firms control almost 50 percent of the PBX market. NEC climbed to the third position with double-digit quarter-over-quarter growth, while Siemens (NYSE: SI) slipped to fourth place in the most recent quarter, according to Infonetics.
Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT) Lync product has hit a "sweet spot" in the unified communications (UC) applications market, with revenues soaring 40 percent in the third quarter of 2012 compared to the second quarter, according to Infonetics. Other top UC vendors include traditional telephony vendors such as Cisco, Avaya and Siemens Enterprise.
"Overall the UC market continues to have good growth, but Microsoft is outpacing the other vendors," Diane Myers, principal analyst for VoIP, UC and IMS at Infonetics Research, told FierceEnterpriseCommunications.
At the same time, the enterprise telephony market continues to struggle in some aspects, with year-over-year declines continuing in the third quarter.
"The tough economic climate has slowed upgrades with businesses holding onto existing platforms. However, we expect the market to move back into positive territory on a worldwide basis" next year, Myers said.
The global enterprise PBX market, which includes TDM, hybrid and pure IP PBXs, saw a 5.6 percent year-over-year decline in the quarter due to continued market softness in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. However, the market increased 2.8 percent over the previous quarter, according to Infonetics.
In the third quarter, the average revenue per PBX line slipped below $200 for the first time, and revenue is dropping faster than shipments, the research firm found.
- see the Infonetics data
Avaya's large enterprise customers will be able to deploy advanced unified communication (UC) features through the expansion of an agreement with GENBAND announced last week.
Avaya and GENBAND agreed to expand an existing agreement so customers of Avaya Communications Server 2100 (CS-2100) and SL-100 systems could migrate to advanced UC applications provided by the GENBAND GENiUS and Avaya Aura platforms.
"What this partnership with Avaya enables us to do is to take our carrier-grade technology and UC solution and bring that forward into Avaya's marque customer base and offer a seamless evolution to UC," explained Andy Asava, senior vice president for enterprise sales at GENBAND.
"We will enable Avaya customers to have full VoIP, video, IM presence, contextual collaboration [and] the ability to interoperate with other UC solutions, such as Microsoft Lync, and we can integrate this into Avaya Aura applications like Contact Center," Asava told FierceEnterpriseCommunications.
The existing agreement stems from the breakup of Nortel Networks in 2009. At that time, Avaya acquired Nortel's enterprise telecom business while GENBAND acquired Nortel's carrier equipment division and agreed to support Avaya's CS-2100 and SL-100 systems because they are based on Nortel's technology.
"The biggest change under this agreement is that we will be offering new software releases, products and solutions," said Richard Travis, CS-2100 senior product manager at Avaya.
"We are taking the carrier-class communications infrastructure from GENBAND that these customers have built their networks around and pairing that with Avaya's applications, such as Avaya Aura Contact Center and conferencing and Avaya Flare, to create a best-in-breed solution that customers can live with for many years," Travis told FierceEnterpriseCommunications.
Travis said the agreement will provide mobile UC capability to Avaya's CS-2100 customers through the use of GENBAND's GENCom mobile UC client, which can be deployed on smartphones and tablets.
Rob Arnold, program manager for unified communications and collaboration at Frost & Sullivan, said the agreement between GENBAND and Avaya "helps large institutions that have been searching to drive continuity for their investments made in legacy Nortel voice systems. This also enables businesses to find a seamless evolution to UC at their own pace without a costly 'rip and replace' approach."
- see GENBAND's release
The SIP Forum has launched a new SIP trunking interoperability testing initiative intended to spur adoption of the SIPconnect 1.1 technical specification, which is a standards-based approach for SIP trunking between IP-PBXs and VoIP service provider networks.
Interoperability is a key issue for SIP trunking deployment. The enterprise's IP-PBX, service provider and edge devices need to work together for a successful SIP trunk deployment.
The SIP Forum was formed by IP communications companies to advance the adoption and interoperability of IP communications products and services based on SIP. It recently established the SIPconnect-Interoperability Certification Task Group to develop appropriate test plans and conformance tools for SIPconnect 1.1, to identify interoperability challenges and to develop a process for resolving industry disputes.
The ultimate goal of the task force, which is chaired by Alan Johnston of Avaya and Robert Kinder of Cox Communications, is to speed adoption of the SIPconnect 1.1 technical specification and create a formal testing certification program for compliance.
The task group has set up the SIPconnect-IT 2012 conference, which will bring together application developers, equipment vendors and service providers to test the SIPconnect 1.1 specification in a live network environment. The event will be held Dec. 3 through Dec. 7 at the University of New Hampshire Interoperability Laboratory.
According to the SIP forum, there are a number of benefits to adoption of the SIPconnect 1.1 specification. For enterprises, SIPconnect reduces the need for a gateway at the end user's site and speeds the delivery of new features from the service provider or the IP-PBX vendor.
For value-added resellers, the SIPconnect reduces the complexity associated with connecting the SIP trunk to the legacy TDM network.
For equipment and software vendors, SIPconnect reduces the time and resources required to verify interoperability in the network.
For SIP trunking service providers, SIPconnect enables network services to be rolled out more rapidly, reducing the time to revenue for new services and features.
In order to ensure smooth SIP trunking migration, enterprises should ensure that the service providers, PBX vendors and edge device manufacturers they select use the SIPconnect standard.
- see the SIP Forum release
Gartner has designated Avaya, Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO), Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Siemens Enterprise Communications (NYSE: SI) as leaders in the unified communications (UC) market, according to the 2012 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications report.
Companies listed by Gartner as strong challengers include Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Huawei, IBM (NYSE: IBM) and NEC. Niche players are Aastra Technologies, Digium, Interactive Intelligence (NASDAQ: ININ), ShoreTel (NASDAQ: SHOR) and Toshiba. Mitel (NASDAQ: MITL) is listed as a visionary but with less ability to execute than the market leaders.
Gartner rated companies according to four UC characteristics: mobility, openness, cloud and broad-solution appeal.
On mobility, Gartner said that this year it is giving particular weight to support for mobile clients because it is a key differentiator. "Users increasingly expect full UC functionality across all mobile platforms and operating systems," the firm explained.
On openness, Gartner said that enterprises expect open standards and interoperability among products. "In particular, enterprises expect good-quality support for SIP, XMPP and H.323 integrations, as well as a clear longer-term commitment to inter-vendor interoperability and federation," Gartner related.
Integration of on-premise UC systems with cloud and hybrid UC services will play an important role for unified communications as a service (UCaaS) products in the future. Gartner noted that UCaaS is introducing new players into the market, such as Google.
Gartner explained that successful UC products depend on appealing to a broad audience of enterprise decision makers, such as telecom, data communications, IT and audio-visual groups, as well as business users. "Success will require advancing a full set of UC capabilities within enterprises, which will result in the displacement of those long-term incumbents that lack broad appeal," the market research firm concluded.
- see Gartner's UC report
Around 40 percent of Americans say they have participated in a video call or video conference, according to a survey of 2,207 adults conducted by Harris Interactive for Avaya's Radvision video conferencing unit.
The survey found 21 percent of respondents have used video calling for the business purposes of a customer or client meeting or closing a deal and 16 percent have used video calls for a job interview or employment termination.
More than 20 percent of respondents would dress more casually for a work-related video call than an in-person meeting. Single Americans are more likely to dress more casually during video conferences than they would for an in-person meeting. In addition, women tend to dress more professionally than men for work-related video calls.
The survey also found that those who live in the Southern or Western part of the country are more likely to have ever used video calls than those residing in other parts of the country.
In terms of video calling etiquette, 13 percent of employed adults said that the bathroom would not be off-limits for holding a work-related video call and 35 percent of adults said that a swimming pool would be an acceptable venue for video calls.
"The growth of video calling is not surprising--many companies are looking for alternative cost-effective and efficient ways of doing business. At the same time, younger entrants into the workforce are familiar with using video for more personal communication. As a result, video call etiquette is still evolving," said Bob Romano, global vice president of marketing for Radvision.
- check out this release
09/08/2012 - Avaya expands collaboration to phones and tablets
Enterprise communication systems developer Avaya on Tuesday introduced a new business collaboration platform called Aura Conferencing 7.0, which allows for session-based, unified voice and web collaboration from anywhere using desktop Macs or PCs, tablets, and smartphones.
The company also announced availability of its Avaya Flare Experience for the Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPad and Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) Windows-based PCs and laptops, along with a new version of its Avaya Aura unified communications platform and expanded mobility for the Avaya Communication Server 1000.
Jorge Blanco, vice president of marketing for Avaya, told eWeek the company is continuing to try and enrich the collaboration experience for enterprises, which includes the integration of mobile devices and tablets. "The iPhone is a big part of this now, as is Windows and the iPad," he said.
Avaya Aura Conferencing 7.0 allows conferencing participants to collaborate using any Web browser or iPhone, and is designed to integrate with the Avaya Flare Experience clients on tablets. The platform can handle 7,500 active conferencing sessions supporting workers located virtually anywhere.
The system costs $140 per user with the Collaboration Agent browser interface and $190 per user with the addition of Avaya Flare Experience for tablets.
19/07/2012 - Avaya targets SMBs with new platform
Avaya has released a new version of its unified communications solution aimed at small and mid-sized enterprises.
Avaya IP Office 8.1 adds a number of new capabilities, including new mobility, management and security features designed to help small enterprises handle the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend and other mobility features. The platform is designed to serve enterprise environments with as few as five employees and as many as 1000.
"With the bar raised on all aspects of business mobility, security and management, Avaya is bringing its innovation to the forefront of the SME space--and extending it further into the mid-market," said Mark Monday, vice president of collaboration platforms at Avaya. "Avaya IP Office 8.1 introduces new capabilities that help our customers and partners succeed in a shifting collaboration landscape, while ensuring they have the capacity to meet expanding communications needs."
The platform also includes Flare Communicator, an app that allows mobile access-to-collaboration capabilities such as business-class calling, presence, company directory search, and management of two simultaneous calls while mobile.
In addition, new centralized management and licensing capabilities help enterprises oversee communications for multisite environments by allowing management from one location using a simple administrative tool. The platform also introduces new security and support features.
- see the Avaya release
21/06/2012 - Avaya moves up list of top patent holders
As patent wars continue in many telecom market sectors, it may be worth noting which companies in the enterprise communications market have a particular strength in patent holdings. Avaya announced it continues to see its ranking rise on the Intellectual Property Owners Association's list of "Top 300 Organizations Granted U.S. Patents in 2011."
The enterprise vendor that was once part of Alcatel-Lucent precursor Lucent Technologies, and thus well-connected with patent farm Bell Labs, has seen its ranking in the list rise for three years. That ranking improved to 114th last year from 128th in 2010. The company had 246 patents awarded in 2011.
According to Avaya, some of its recent patents include:
- Automatic customer satisfaction monitoring through social media.
- Agent-assisted response to social media interactions.
- Context-aware office space locator.
- Contact center expert identification.
- Single-sided speech quality measurement.
Companies such as Microsoft and Google have been busily acquiring technology patents in recent years. Just last week, Microsoft acquired 800 patents from Internet pioneer AOL. And of course, Google nabbed a treasure trove of patents when it acquired Motorola Mobility. As different segments of enterprise communications, such as cloud, unified communications and social enterprise, begin to take off, one of the side effects is likely to be an increase in patent disputes and litigation. It is one of the ironic milestones every market passes as it becomes viable and mature.
- here's the Avaya press release
Unified communications solutions provider Polycom Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM) will showcase its end-to-end video and voice collaboration solutions this week at the International Avaya Users Group (IAUG) Global Education Conference in Boston.
Polycom announced it will demonstrate its Avaya-ready RealPresence Platform for universal video collaboration, among other telepresence and video solutions.
The open standards-based RealPresence Platform has interoperability with hundreds of UC, business and social-networking applications, the company said.
Also being showcased at the IAUG confab is Polycom's RealPresence Mobile application, which "extends the reach of video collaboration beyond the conference room."
The app, launched in October 2011, allows mobile device users to securely join video meetings with other standards-based video systems--including immersive theatres, conference-room systems, laptops, tablets and smartphones--in HD quality.
In a statement, Polycom said the company provides a range of Avaya-ready UC solutions, boasting of 37 Avaya DevConnect certifications in addition to open standards-based solutions tested for Avaya interoperability.
The IAUG Global Education Conference 2012 runs Sunday through Thursday at the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center in Boston.
On Tuesday, Bob Hall, Polycom's director of Enterprise Wireless Solutions Strategic Alliances, will lead a breakout session: Improve On-the-Go Employee Workflow and Reduce Cyber Loafing - How Avaya and Polycom enterprise wireless solutions address improved mobility workflow and employee productivity.
- see the announcement
Polycom sells handset unit for $110M, adds to stock buyback plan
Polycom comes back to Earth in Q1
Polycom partners with HP, Microsoft on 'easy' HD video solution
Telepresence leading video-conferencing boom
17/05/2012 - IntelePeer SIP trunking Avaya compliant
Cloud-based communications company IntelePeer announced its IntelePeer CoreCloud SIP Trunking services are compliant with Avaya Session Border Controller for Enterprise R.4.0.5 and Avaya Aura Communication Manager 6.0.1.
The announcement means IntelePeer has expanded the number of Avaya UC products it supports, adding onto its compatibility with Avaya's IP Office that it announced in March. IntelePeer SIP trunking now supports a range of UC systems and products to ensure enterprises can choose between Avaya, Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO), Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Siemens UC systems.
IntelePeer SIP Trunking services, combined with Avaya systems and software, enable customers to gain more value and functionality from their UC deployments.
IntelePeer is a Technology Partner in the Avaya DevConnect program--an initiative to develop, market and sell innovative third-party products that interoperate with Avaya technology and extend the value of a company's investment in its network.
- see this release
14/05/2012 - Radvision Q1 revenue tops $17.4M, beats guidance
Videoconferencing specialist Radvision (Nasdaq: RVSN) today reported revenues for the first quarter of 2012 were $17.4 million, down nearly 17 percent from $20.8 million in the first quarter of 2011.
Nonetheless, the Israeli company did outperform its own guidance issued in April, when it said it expected revenue of just $17 million.
Radvision, which is in the process of being acquired by Avaya, also beat its guidance on earnings. The company reported a net loss of $6.7 million, or 36 cents per share, compared to a net loss of $3.3 million, or 18 cents per share, a year ago. Radvision had expected to report a loss of $6.9 million for the quarter.
Radvision said first-quarter revenues consisted of $15.2 million for the Video Business Unit (VBU) and $2.2 million for the Technology Business Unit (TBU). This compares with $15.9 million for the VBU and $4.8 million for the TBU reported in the first quarter of 2011.
The company attributed its better-than-expected performance to higher sales of both its infrastructure and endpoint products, offsetting lower Technology Business Unit revenues.
"Over the past two years we have been successfully transforming Radvision into an end-to-end videoconferencing solution provider with leading technology," CEO Boaz Raviv said, pointing to the debut of its flagship SCOPIA XT5000 that targets the high-end telepresence market.
Radvision, in April, also expanded its next generation HD video conferencing room system portfolio with the SCOPIA XT4200.
"Since our founding in 1992, RADVISION has been a leading innovator in video communications technology," Raviv said. "We are excited to continue that tradition as part of Avaya, a leading global provider of business collaboration and communications solutions."
That deal is expected to close this quarter.
- see this release
Special Report: Enterprise Communications earnings in the first quarter of 2012
Radvision targets Cisco, Polycom with expanded videoconferencing portfolio
Avaya buys videoconferencing company Radvision for $230M
Radvision bests Q4 expectations; issues poor Q1 guidance
Radvision rolls out new top end for Scopia videoconferencing line
22/03/2012 - Cisco, Avaya take control of enterprise voice market
Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Avaya continued to grow their lead in the enterprise voice equipment market in 2011, with Avaya nearly doubling its share of the $9.6 billion segment, according to a new report.
Click here to zoom in on this chart.
Most of the company's gains, said Synergy Research Group, came in the burgeoning IP telephony segment, where both Cisco and Avaya have beat their Asian and European competitors. Cisco's share of the market since 2009 has grown six points to 32 percent. Avaya, meanwhile, has seen its share jump from 12 percent to 22 percent.
Nowhere has the change been as evident as in the APAC region, which made up more than a fifth of global sales, 22 percent, in 2011. Synergy said Japanese manufacturers, in particular, have lost share in an IP telephony market they were slow to join.
"Cisco and Avaya have increased their combined market share in the Asia-Pacific from 21 percent to 37 percent since 2009," said Synergy Research Group's Jeremy Duke. "As the enterprise voice equipment market in the region is expected to grow only modestly in the coming years, local vendors will be left struggling to regain their lost market share."
Synergy said global revenue in the fourth quarter grew to $2.4 billion, keeping pace with previous quarters over the past three years that ranged from $2.3 billion to $2.5 billion. Synergy said, however, that the mix of traditional PBX/KTS/hybrid systems and IP telephony was continuing to change, with IP telephony becoming even more dominant. Between 2009 and 2011, IP telephony market share grew five percent, and it now makes up 66 percent of the market.
- see this release
Avaya, which is continuing to evolve its channel partner strategy, has announced Jeremy Butt, its worldwide channel vice president, will leave the company in March.
The UC vendor said Butt's job would be eliminated and said in a statement that Tom Mitchell, SVP and president of Avaya's Go to Market, would take over Butt's responsibilities.
"Jeremy is ready to take on a new challenge outside of Avaya, and we wish him the very best in his endeavors," a spokesperson said.
Butt joined Avaya from Motorola in 2008, and he has been integral in its transition toward the broader, partner-led sale of its full technology portfolio, including a stepped-up focus on contact center, unified communications and data networking by its roughly 1,800 U.S.-based solution providers.
Earlier this month, Avaya, a global provider of business communications and collaboration systems and services, unveiled several other senior executive changes.
Marc Randall joined Avaya as SVP and GM for Avaya Networking, coming over from Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO), where he had been VP and GM of Cisco Systems' Scalable Network Business Unit. Gary Barnett was named to lead Avaya Collaboration Infrastructure as SVP and GM. Brett Shockley will take on responsibility for Avaya Applications including the Contact Center and Unified Communications portfolios, as well as maintain oversight of Emerging Technology as senior vice president and general manager. Dr. Alan Baratz was named SVP for Corporate Development and Strategy.
- see this Microscope article
Avaya says SIP growth leads to new revenue strategy
Avaya pushes channel partners toward broader technology portfolio
Avaya gaining share on Cisco in telephony equipment segment
Avaya tells channel partners: We're a collaboration company now
Avaya preaching 'user experience' over the underlying technology
05/01/2012 - Study: UC delivers ROI, but customers still wary
A new study says that potential customers for unified communications continue to struggle to justify the expense of converting to a UC platform, and remain worried they won't see a return on their investment. The good news, according to International Data Corporation? Once a company commits to deploy a UC solution, the technology delivers.
IDC analyst Rich Costello, who wrote IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Unified Communications Voice Infrastructure 2011-2012 Vendor Analysis, said educating potential customers is critical.
"It's an ongoing effort for customers to understand and identify appropriate business cases for UC and the overall complexities associated with it," he said. "But, once that connection is made, UC delivers."
Costello said UC vendors should continue to focus on developing incremental business use cases to build confidence among customers and drive investments in UC. Vendors and partners must also focus on the business case, and not just the technical aspects, of a fully integrated UC environment.
Costello said that for the segment to continue its growth, vendors need to help customers identify tools and features that are most appropriate for their organization, and which sources they should turn to for those selected features and tools, adding that a business case for UC has to include a mix of IT and business benefits.
He also pointed to vertical markets such as healthcare, education, financials and manufacturing as some of the most powerful UC customer success stories to emanate from business process flows.
IDC named Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Avaya in its "leaders" category among vendors, with Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT), Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Siemens, NEC, IBM, and ShoreTel (Nasdaq: SHOR), recognized as "major players."
- see this release
Enterprise communications sector saw it all in 2011
BroadSoft scores hosted UC win with S. Korean service provider
Videoconferencing market sees 20.3% spike in Q3 to $680.4M in revenue
Report: Enterprises going mobile, seek UC, videoconferencing solutions
14/11/2011 - Avaya says SIP growth leads to new revenue strategy
Avaya last week reminded attendees at its U.S./Gov Sales Leadership and Partner Conference that it has rolled out 60 products in the past year and a half, more than it has seen in the past 10 years. And, it said, more products are on the way, including plans to take its Flare collaboration platform to Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) and Android mobile devices, and to make its Aura Conferencing product more feature-rich.
Avaya, which has been gaining share on Cisco in the telephony equipment segment, has been reminding partners, in strong terms, that it wants them to focus more on its broader technology portfolio and on collaboration and user experience.
It's a revenue growth plan that it has been pitching at all of its recent channel partner conferences.
Alan Baratz, Avaya's SVP and president of Global Communications Solutions, says the push is predicated upon the continued growth of SIP technologies.
"The important and compelling thing about SIP is that it's all about sessions: it can carry the IP, it can carry video, it can carry IM, maybe other new types of traffic," he said. "It means you can have a single control infrastructure supporting all of that communication. That enables a lot of really compelling capabilities for the end customer," including cheaper infrastructure, and a more unified experience for the end user.
"Up until now, for Avaya, it really has been all about voice," Baratz said. "But now, on the same platform, we can do video, we can do web collaboration, we can do IM, everything, so we need to start investing in those other modes of communication. Video codecs become more important to us. Screen sharing becomes more important to us. It's really about the different types of communication and the technologies required to support those modes.
- see this CRN article
Avaya pushed channel partners toward broader technology portfolio
Avaya gaining share on Cisco in telephony equipment segment
Avaya tells channel partners: We're a collaboration company now
Avaya preaching 'user experience' over the underlying technology
Avaya is continuing to pour money into its "Power of We" initiative, working with channel partners to broaden and strengthen its push into collaboration solutions for businesses. The company is preaching that user experience needs to be its focus, because that, far more than the actual technology, is what concerns customers. Article