When you think of enterprise communications Avaya is certainly one of the first names that comes to mind. A huge player in the space, the company has a tremendous amount of influence in the future shape of things to come in telecom.
As we all know by now, one of the fastest-growing segments of the market is unified communications. In order to get a read on Avaya’s positioning in the UC space I decided my readers would benefit from a high level Avaya interview.
The following is that interview with Stuart Wells, President, Global Communications Solutions at Avaya. I was pretty interested in many of his thoughts and especially in how Avaya is evolving to become a software company. For more on this and other issues be sure to read the interview to completion.
How has unified communications changed your business?
Avaya began rolling out unified communications to our most mobile employees – executives and sales – in 2003. The solutions enabled a single interface from which staff members could access voice and email, check calendars, launch calls and conference calls and more through voice commands from any device. They were also equipped with our ground-breaking Extension to Cellular application that simultaneously bridged calls made to their business extensions to their cell phones. This provided “single number access” to the user, with greater security and privacy for those who regularly used cell phones for business. We found the time saved on an average amounted to 15 days per year per user. Since then, we have continued to lead the market in innovative, unified communications applications that enable seamless access to converged real-time and non-real-time communications delivered over any device, any network to users in any location.
How closely are you working with Microsoft on your UC strategy?
We work very closely with Microsoft to integrate our unified communications capabilities with their desktop applications. We believe that no single vendor will be able to provide all the unified communications applications to fit a company’s need, and the customer should have the right to integrate new and existing applications from preferred vendors. With Avaya and Microsoft, two market leaders come together to provide high value, integrated, real-time and non real-time communications that are tested and proven for interoperability.
How does mobility fit into your strategy?
As noted previously, mobility is a key part of our strategy. We’ve classified the different worker mobility profiles as telecommuter, road warrior, campus nomad and deskbound worker. Each has different types of communications needs; each may have one key profile, but almost all have a little of each. As part of our “any network, any device, any location” strategy, all of the technologies that support these mobile workers must also work in concert to reduce the complexity that could render them useless. Avaya has accomplished this through our one-X Mobile, one-X Portal and one-X Speech applications.
Other than mobility and UC what is the hottest area of the market?
Communications-enabled business processes or CEBP. Avaya introduced the first solution to the market this year and have had significant interest from companies across virtually every single industry sector. CEBP is the latest in emerging technologies and services that embeds communications applications into business applications and processes. CEBP enables a company to detect and act on real-time information and accelerate response and resolution of critical issues. We’ve seen companies that have implemented CEBP reduce processes that normally took several days or weeks to a few hours.
What will Avaya look like in five years?
We expect that Avaya will be a fully-developed software company. We have been moving in this direction for several years already, and nearly 80 percent o our R&D spend today is on software. Our recent transition to a private company will allow us to accelerate and complete that process in all areas.