Video Competitors: Avaya's Radvision Buy 'Disruptive' For Channel


Avaya's planned $230 million acquisition of Radvision won't be the market-disrupting game changer that Cisco's $3.3 billion pickup of Tandberg two years ago was, but it'll definitely put Avaya in closer competition with the titans of the videoconferencing space -- and at odds with some of its existing video technology partners.

The acquisition, unveiled Thursday after several months of speculation, gives Avaya native videoconferencing technology, from components to endpoints to mobile applications, as part of its overall unified communications and contact center portfolios. It gives Avaya a definite leg-up in the hot enterprise videoconferencing market where Cisco and Polycom dominate, and which Infonetics Research pegs at being a cumulative $22 billion spend by enterprise customers between 2012 and 2016.

Avaya plans to integrate Radvision's video infrastructure endpoints with Aura, its virtualized UC platform, although thanks to Radvision's open standards-based technology, Avaya's platform and Radvision's products will be interoperable on day one, said Nick Francis, Avaya's vice president of sales and marketing, video collaboration.

No question the Radvision buy changes Avaya's existing video relationships, Francis acknowledged. Avaya's major partnerships are with both Polycom, as a strategic vendor ally and for joint product development and marketing of video, voice and collaboration products, and LifeSize Communications, as an OEM partner for videoconferencing products and a limited reseller.

"We had a partnership with Polycom that didn't play itself out in the manner it was expected to," Francis told CRN. "We have the partnership with LifeSize, but what we were forcing our customers to do is piecemeal a total solution together. We had different parts of video but we didn't have the total solution, and as you can see from the marketplace, the need for that solution is growing at a very high rate."

Next: The Future Of The LifeSize Partnership