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For Avaya's part, the bundling of IP Office with EMC's VNX solution isn't the first of its ties to the storage giant. Avaya in April came to market with its new Collaboration Pod, a bundled solution set consisting of Avaya's UC technologies, EMC's VNX 5300 unified storage array and VMware's vSphere ESXi 5.0 compute servers.
Karl Soderlund, vice president, Americas Channel Sales at Avaya, said the OEM partnership between EMC and Catalyst Telecom for IP Office is ideal for traditional voice solution providers looking to get into the storage space, since many of them already work with Catalyst, Avaya's largest distributor partner.
"Many of our traditional voice partners, as they look to get complementary technologies, a very logical complementary technology is storage," Soderlund said. "And this still allows Catalyst to be their distributor of choice and to sell a whole array of products."
Catalyst Telecom emphasized that its new OEM relationship with EMC is unique from the traditional vendor-distributor relationship it has with vendors such as Avaya or Aruba Networks. Catalyst's Ferney, however, didn't rule out the possibility of pursuing a distributor relationship with EMC down the road.
"That's not on the table today, ... but we certainly view them as the kind of partner we'd love to work with," Ferney said.
Ferney also said Catalyst Telecom would consider bundling EMC's VNX or VNXe solution with other voice solutions it offers, including those from ShoreTel. Products from Aruba Networks and Extreme Networks are also in the running, Ferney said, as are products residing in other ScanSource business units outside of Catalyst Telecom.
"Possibly before the year is out, but certainly within the next 12 months, we will be releasing additional solutions," Ferney said."