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Mobility, security and software will all figure prominently in Avaya's 2012 product roadmap as the company looks to shore up its UC and contact center dominance, and further the story around Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)-based technologies.
Specifically, Avaya will broaden its portfolio around video collaboration, mobile collaboration, an enhanced customer experience in the contact center and network simplification, according to Alan Baratz, senior vice president of global communications solutions at Avaya.
That means new mobility and video endpoints, Baratz asaid, as well as enhancements such as multi-party video access and continuous presence across all Avaya endpoints.
There will also be added capabilities for Avaya Flare, the collaboration platform Avaya launched a year ago. Flare Communicator for Apple's iPad is making its way through Apple's approval process for inclusion in the App Store, Baratz, and will be available as a free download in its beta version -- an announcement that brought applause from the Avaya partner crowd on Tuesday.
To Avaya Aura Conferencing, Baratz said, Avaya is adding integrated audio, video and web collaboration, short voice and video messaging capabilities, continuous presence with customizable windows, and more efficient bandwidth management. There will also be new bundles around Avaya contact center solutions focused on midmarket, as well as a version of the Flare interface for PCs, expected in 2012.
Avaya's data networking portfolio, seen as questionable when Avaya acquired it through Nortel's enterprise group in 2009, has also been a success story for Avaya. According to Avaya's Bandrowczak, Avaya partners traditionally focused on voice that have moved to data over the last three quarters have collectively grown business almost 60 percent, with three times the wallet share of their existing customers.
"This is allows you to be in the ecosystem of selling into everything," he said. "It's how do I sell into business process. It's 'Oh, you run Oracle, here's how I collaborate on top' or 'Oh, you virtualize with Oracle, here's how I enter that.' There's a whole stream of conversations that they've never had before."
According to Bandrowczak, if a partner had attached data networking to every unified communications opportunity sold in Avaya's fiscal 2011, it would have created a funnel of more than $1 billion in potential revenue. Avaya is also seeing gradual interest in its Virtual Enterprise Network Architecture, or VENA, the data networking architecture Bandrowczak says offers better benefits that competing data center fabrics.
"Our vision goes all the way to the branch," he said of VENA. "And we have product right now."
Along with greater adoption of data products, services attachment will also be a major priority for Avaya VARs, said Mohamad Ali, senior vice president and president, Avaya Global Services. Avaya is providing several models for services, with varying rebates and partner rewards such as 17.5 percent for Platinum partners, as well as partner data to educate solution providers on how much money they're leaving on the table without a focus on services attachment.
"At the end of the day, that helps them, and it helps us," Ali said. "We might as well get this all right to begin with. Everybody in our ecosystem needs to be healthy."