Avaya Prepares for Nortel Acquisition with Awards, Product Expansion

The press release from ABI Research announcing the top three finishers in its latest Vendor Matrix — Avaya, IBM and Siemens Enterprise Networks, in that order — is interesting for both the results themselves and insight into how the firm assesses unified communications.

ABI says that its matrix studies consider innovation and implementation. In the case of UC, the release says, innovation refers to the robustness of the vendor’s channel; its technology partners; product costs and the accompanying services offered. Implementation covers security features and a number of questions about the architectures that are being offered. In the case of the UC matrix, candidates’ video and telepresence, messaging and IP telephony offerings also were considered.

It’s been a good time for Avaya. In addition to the ABI success, the company also scored a UC win in China, where Avaya (China) Communications Co. Ltd. was given Frost & Sullivan’s Best Practice Award for its 2008-2009 UC efforts. Unfortunately, the release is short on details on precisely what differentiates Avaya from its competitors.

Winning awards is not the only news being made by Avaya in the UC sector. Last week, the company said that the session manager of the Aura product is being upgraded to integrate existing systems from other vendors. The Aura system, which the story says is aimed at midsize companies, is designed to flexibly install and manage communications applications across the enterprise.

The Avaya awards and product expansion come in anticipation of Avaya’s acquisition of assets of Nortel’s Enterprise Solutions business and other assets. The selection of Avaya as the auction winner was made in September. At Phone+, Yankee Group analyst Steve Hilton says that the move will benefit Avaya’s UC portfolio by adding network infrastructure muscle, a robust international channel and strength in the company in the small- and medium-size business (SMB) sector.

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