Unified Communications: Avaya/Nortel rides the wave

Spoken | August 9, 2016

Avaya first announced last summer that it would be purchasing struggling telephony provider Nortel‘s enterprise solution business, including voice, data and government systems businesses. Not a bad move in the competitive market–Nortel can stand to regain more of the market share it’s lost over the last few years, and, with this new acquisition, Avaya can more nimbly compete with the likes of Cisco, which has expanded to offer far more than the routers and firewalls that were once its primary domain.

In fact, in this day and age, supplying Unified Communications solutions is the way to ride the hip new communications trend. Despite the facts that the nomenclature still reads as a buzzword and organizations are reportedly slow to implement unified communications technologies (most likely because no one is quite sure what UC is), DestinationCRM writer Christopher Musico has reported that “a recent DMG Research study on UC examines major players, trends, and a potential wild card that could shake up the space.” 

When Avaya scooped up Nortel’s solutions last month, it also garnered Nortel’s Unified Communications tools. What does that mean, exactly? Well, this week, Avaya announced its roadmap to Unified Communications, with plans to leverage Nortel’s assets in a play to compete with rival Cisco’s solutions.

If you’re curious about what exactly the roadmap entails, Sheila McGee-Smith of McGee-Smith Analytics has written an informative piece giving a preview of Avaya’s Next Generation Contact Center (NGCC) Architecture. A few items she points out:

  • SIP is at the core
  • The multichannel nature of contact center is supported
  • All calls are treated as conferences, not as point to point conversations

In short, if UC does catch on, as Musico predicts, Avaya is now set to compete in the space. Sometimes it’s a risk to be at the front of a trend, but I suspect that once organizations figure out the how and why of implementing UC, Avaya will be poised to compete.

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