If there is one thing Avaya is doing exceedingly well it is courting developers. Out of all the PBX vendors, Avaya has decided they will be the leader in this space. Cisco and Inter-Tel (now Mitel U.S.) have also done an admirable job but no one has matched the six thousand plus members in the Avaya DevConnect program.
Why is this important you ask? In the computer industry the size of the developer program is what determined the success of a vendor. The reason IBM and Apple became standards was because of the massive developer communities supporting each. OS/2 died a horrible and painful death because application developers decided it was better to write programs for Windows.
The enterprise communications market is beginning to mirror the PC market of the eighties and nineties. Standards like SIP and technologies like VoIP mean that vendors will have to compete on an even playing field in the future. Why? PBXs like PCs are becoming commoditized.
It will be tougher and tougher to lock customers in as phones work across platforms and PBXs interoperate. The best way to ensure customers need to purchase from you is to make sure that you have as many third-party developers as possible on your platform — programming their little hearts out.
This is the best way in my opinion to distinguish yourself in a crowded field. What is most surprising to me is that Avaya is doing something most other PBX companies don’t even realize is important. It is unclear why other PBX manufacturers don’t see the future.