Avaya SMB Event Features Cake Boss

Avaya Press and Analyst SMB Live Blog.


At an Avaya Event here in New York City, the company is set to detail its plans to migrate Nortel users to Avaya’s IP Office 7.0. According to Isabelle Guis (pictured) General Manager of of the SME Communications Business Unit, the company now has 30 million users – 14M of those came from Nortel and there are 7 million total IP Office users – with 200k systems being sold last quarter.

Here are some shots of the event so far.
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10:00 am EST Kick Off

Announcer addresses audience from TV via video Small business make is vital to Avaya.

Dr. Alan Baratz
takes the stage. He transitions to a video of happy customers “Thinking Big.”


IP Office was designed for small to medium businesses and can scale to 1,000 users. 60% YoY growth – almost 150% QoQ growth in sub-20 end of market. Over 30M users. Vast majority are legacy – BCM and Norstar from Nortel and 15M on a combo of Avaya products including IP Office.

Can now unplug Nortel handsets and plug them into Avaya IP Office system and can auto-migrate your data – phone configuration, user personalization and voicemails. It takes 10 minutes to an hour and about 15 minutes on average to go from Legacy Nortel to Avaya.

This means no new cost to upgrade phone system.

All carriers which sold Nortel systems will also now sell IP Office systems – 0% attrition.

Live demo of a phone being unplugged from Nortel system to an IP Office system – now testing all the features and functions such as message waiting lamp.


New capabilities. Can use softphone now – demo shown on a Mac laptop.

Konftel demo of their speakerphones which are now interoperable with Avaya.

iPad demo – basically a mobile client.


10:30 am EST

Howie Gold, IT Director of The Agency Group joins the stage to tell us about how his company got started in booking bands worldwide – from Pink Floyd to Led Zeppelin. They have 130 employees who are extremely mobile and it is a 24×7 business. Mobile twinning is a great feature he said as it is useful no matter where he is. Voicemail to email is another technology which is useful – in a loud club for example.


The softphone is the best feature as you can make calls from anywhere. The company president will not travel without his softphone in place. This solution has changed his behavior as he used to make one call and round-robin to all employees to speak with them all. He now calls whenever he needs someone and does it an extension at a time.

Coprocessor coming in fall so you don’t need a new application server – it will be a feature card. Also web based management and hybrid-CPE/cloud and one-X mobile client coming soon allowing you to interrupt and listen to voicemail live.

The cloud-based solution will allow companies to pay as they go – not purchase but instead lease software. Since they have the #1 CPE position in SME they can help their customers utilize new apps without the need to purchase products and services. You can for example buy IVR time if you are a florist needing more capacity around holidays.

Flare experience on IP Office coming – will be more focused on external communications for SMEs as in the enterprise more of the calls are person to person – internal.

10:50 AM EST

Tom Mitchell Senior Vice President and President, Avaya Go to Market takes stage.


“We are 100% partner driven.”

Gives example of how a doctor is using IP Office to make frequent calls reminding elderly patients to take the appropriate amount of medicine at the right times. “Alan (Baratz) has laid out a very feature rich road map and partners are key to this. We have 9,000 partners worldwide.”

Carrier and other partners take the stage for panel discussion.


Avaya has fully engaged SME market. Strong interaction between Avaya and partners. Perfect time for IP Office to be in place. “Great time to be an SME business partner.”

SME business doing well but enterprise is slow. Companies are looking for productivity and cost savings.

11:15 AM EST

Cake Boss star Buddy Valastro takes stage and discusses how technology has helped the company evolve from a mom and pop to where it is today. he has been working at the bakery since he was 11. At age 17 his father passed away and he dropped out of high school to manage 30 employees and fill big shoes.


He saw the future – making cakes that were different – cakes which were tough to make but ones which supermarkets weren’t able to make. From there it was bridal magazines to Food Network Challenge to TV news shoes and more.

He now has three TV shows.

He gets 1-1.5 million hits per month on his website but doesn’t sell online – he needs good partners to help him grow. From there he transitioned to Avaya relationship. He detailed how he has 150 employees and can soon have 500 or more – they have
a new building as well.

He made the audience laugh when he detailed how GPS allows him to track drivers who could be taking a break at any time.

He concluded explaining how he is not a technology expert but he uses it to help him do his job better.


Now the cool part begins – we are going to be on an episode of the Cake Boss.

12:00 PM EST

Check out this working video conferencing and IP phone cake made out of yes, almost 100% cake and Avaya technology. Even the table is made of cake! We are about to eat some now.

Sorry readers – Avaya and the Cake Boss producers have requested we keep this photo secret until it airs in June/July. It has been deleted for now.

7/26/2011: Embargo has been lifted – here are some great shots of the cake and apparently I will be on TLC tonight at 7:30 pm with video of me eating lots of cake.


One last point – thanks to my eagle-eyed readers who pointed out that the Konftel acquisition – the second largest maker of conference phones has resulted in devices which are rebranded and are interoperable with Avaya’s communications systems. The speakerphone above in the middle, rendered in cake is what one of these devices looks like – only not as delicious. 😉

Here are a few more photos of the Cake Boss to make up for the fact I had to remove the shot of the actual cake – which is quite amazing – to see and eat.


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