Avaya Acquires Esna Technologies For Stickier UC Apps

Unified communications (UC) and networking vendor Avaya has acquired Esna Technologies to accelerate the adoption of communications-enabled applications that will create stickiness for channel partners, Avaya has revealed.

Esna, a Richmond Hill, Ontario-based communication and collaboration software provider, embeds UC and real-time collaboration tools inside applications.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the Santa Clara, Calif.-based vendor now has all of Esna's intellectual property, contractors, customers and employees, as well as its roughly 200 partners, according to Avaya's Gary Barnett, senior vice president and general manager of Engagement Solutions.

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"The channel has made it very clear to us that they want to see Avaya infrastructure embedded in applications," said Barnett, in an interview with CRN. "This just takes us to the next level of taking engagement and allowing it very easily to be embedded in virtually any application. … For the Avaya channel, this gives them a new set of capabilities on top of the Avaya infrastructure and strengthens their set of solutions."

An integrated, Esna-enabled Avaya Communicator Web client will become available for both of Avaya's platforms -- IP Office and Aura -- with capabilities that can be embedded into public or private cloud-based business applications, according to Barnett.

The acquisition will also enable end users to easily access multi-vendor communications -- such as voice, video, conferences and messaging -- seamlessly from within cloud-based business applications when using a device.

Jamie Wood, executive vice president at Avatel, a Brandon, Fla.-based Avaya Silver partner, said Esna is a "great fit" and will allow her customers to access multi-vendor communication and business applications with any device.

"This is what our midmarket customers are looking for," said Wood. "Our customers will love to connect voice and mobile networks with one-click access from any browser to Google Apps and Salesforce.com. It’s so exciting that with the Esna and Avaya engagement solution, customers can imbed voice, messaging, conferencing and video."

Woods said the acquisition allows customers to leverage their current communications infrastructure and integrate newer "vendor neutral" technologies into cloud-based applications.

"I think most Avaya partners would agree that a true integration platform is the next phase of UC. ... This approach creates true convergence of business and communications applications, as you don’t need to use multiple applications to connect and communicate," said Wood.

Barnett said some key reasons for the acquisition was to help make Avaya a differentiator in the market and create better stickiness for partners with their customers.

"Competitors take the approach that says, 'Here, put my client on your desktop' -- and we've heard very loud and clear from our customers that they don't want another client on their desktop," said Barnett. "What they want is for their existing applications to be engagement-enabled. … We've become a much stronger embedded, seamless technology as opposed to a stand-alone, loosely integrated client."

Barnett said Esna is a subsidiary of Avaya but will be integrated overtime.