Lenovo, Avaya in VoIP Pact

communications biometrics software

The companies were set to announce the alliance on Tuesday, at the VoiceCon telephony conference in Orlando.

Under terms of the deal, the companies would collaborate on IP and unified communications. Lenovo would support Avaya's Softphone solution, with Avaya optimizing its technology for Lenovo's fingerprint-biometric security and its ThinkLight bezel feature. ThinkPad models with the integrated solution -- which will not affect the notebook's average selling price -- will be available in the third quarter, said Peter Gaucher, executive director of strategic alliances for Lenovo.

Gaucher described it as "another tool in the arsenal" for solution provider and Lenovo channel partners. "There's a variety of data out there showing a lot of enterprises in the process of considering it or rolling it out," Gaucher said.

Lenovo has been working hard in the U.S. to rebound from a slow fourth quarter. The company is particularly interested in the small and mid-size segments of the commercial market, which is now in the early stages of evaluating VoIP and other telephony solutions.

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"Lenovo might be a little bit ahead of the curve, but I don't think that's a bad thing," said Pat Walsh, president of Computer Station of Orlando, a Longwood, Fla.-based solution provider and Lenovo partner. "Most customers have heard about (VoIP), and it's a conversation I've been having."

Gaucher said the Avaya-Lenovo solution is tailored for the enterprise, including security that protects against unauthorized calls, theft of caller lists and general PC protection with Lenovo's biometrics.

"This particular relationship with Avaya is really targeted at the large enterprise and the middle market, which are concerned about how these types of solutions fit into their overall IT solutions environment," Gaucher said.