Avaya is Coming of Age: Information & Insight from Avaya Evolutions 2011

by Jeff Wiener on November 10, 2011

After years of growth and change executives at Avaya’s Evolutions 2011 were promising channel partners, well, more of the same. While I unfortunately had to miss last year’s Evolutions event, and thus was unsure of what to expect there this year, I quickly discovered that Avaya is clearly evolving, coming of age in an ever-changing telecommunications market.

At this year’s event Digitcom had the privilege of being an exhibitor, allowing me to meet with current and prospective customers, and with Avaya reporting 1,200 people in attendance, there were plenty of both. Beyond that, however, I was also afforded the invaluable opportunity to hear from Avaya in regards to the current state of the market and to gain some insight into the future roadmap of the company.

The first glimpse of Avaya’s ongoing evolution came early in the day, with Rob Daleman, Marketing Leader Avaya Canada, and Ross Pellizzari, President of Avaya Canada, announcing that the heavy lifting from the post Nortel acquisition is now over and is already producing some excellent end results, including a new revitalized dealer base and a large Nortel customer base that is slowly migrating towards an integrated Avaya/Nortel roadmap.

In addition, we heard that Avaya is the number one player in the SME and Enterprise voice market in Canada, hardly a surprise considering the Nortel integration.

Following that we heard from Phil Edholm, VP of Technology, Strategy and Innovation, who discussed the changing face of communication using technologies like the Avaya Flare Experience. The key point to his message, surprise surprise, is that communication is changing, with Edholm suggesting that by the end of 2012 over 50% of office users will be using their personal devices to communicate in the corporate market. But not to worry, Avaya has solutions in both the SME and Enterprise markets to support the changing face of the market, but more on that shortly.

Let me state the obvious one more time, the communication world is changing; what was once a TDM world is moving rapidly towards a world of open standards SIP. Frankly, SIP is allowing for never before seen inter-compatibility between disparate devices from different manufacturers, and with open standards like SIP trunking and SIP stations, the way the world communicates has been forever altered.

To the point, I’ve been preaching for years about the imminent demise of the office desk phone, a casualty of a move towards an open standards device agnostic market where everything is integrated. To observe this paradigm shift towards open standards one need only to look at Avaya Flare, which now works on the iPad and various Android devices, or Avaya Aura or IP Office, both  advanced middleware product suites designed to support this next generation of integrated device agnostic telecommunications.

There was some discussion about Avaya’s data network, switches, and routers; this product line coming, of course, from the old Nortel. Avaya can now support an end-to-end solution: call control server, switch, and phone on the desk, although ironically the phone on the desk is becoming obsolete and is being replaced by software apps at the desk. It’s a new generation, a paradigm shift in technology.

At the Evolutions event we were also introduced to Avaya’s new slogan, “The Power of We.” To illustrate the message Avaya brought out a chorus of singers–one singer singing alone produces a lonely tone, but together, when everyone sings a chorus, music euphony is created.

The message, as best as I understand it, is this: We’re all best served when we work as a team. Together we are stronger than one person alone. How exactly does that relate to Avaya? According to Renzo Dipasquale, who I spoke with about this very issue, “We’re in an era where we need to collaborate for success, both at the corporate and at the technology level. When WE work together WE produce results. That’s the POWER OF WE.”

The day ended with a one hour session hosted by Don Tapscott, an author, speaker, and advisor on Media, Technology & Innovation; a very appropriate conclusion to an eventful, information packed day.

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Written by: Jeff Wiener. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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