Avaya took a play from the carrier page book last Friday with its acquistion of Ubiquity Software, service provider supplier. The $144 million deal might sound like a move by Avaya into the world of carrier voice. In fact, the move is more likely aimed at filling a critical hole in Avaya's enterprise-oriented telephony offering.
Ubiquity, a British startup in part funded by serial entrepenuer Terry Mathews, earned June, approximately $23 million in 2006 selling a line of service provider-centric SIP server and signaling systems. Ubiquity's archrival, DynamicSoft, was snapped up by Cisco in 2004 for $55 million in cash.
So does the move indicate a change on Avaya's part to jump into the carrier space? Hardly. Even a brief overview of the company's financials shows how clearly targeted the company is at the enterprise.
"More likely, Avaya sees this as an opportunity to fill a hole in its enterprise offering. What Avaya lacks is a compelling service creation platform that allows enterprises to leverage their IP PBX," IM-ed Matthias Machowinski, directing analyst of enterprise voice and data practice at Infonetics Research. "It's easy to talk about 'service creation platforms, but it's another thing to see what specific capabilities, features, applications etc. they deliver."
I think Matthias is onto something. Telephony vendors understand the importance of getting away from just selling voice. In the service and in the infrastructure, voice is quickly becoming a commodity, witness the emergence of Asterisk.