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Avaya Flare: Eye Candy For Your CEO

Collaboration pundits got their drool opportunity last week with the introduction of Flare, Avaya's new communication tablet. For IT pros, Flare's real impact may have less to do what happens while in the hall and more at the desk. The Flare Experience, as Avaya calls is, a new kind of interface that will initially be available on the Avaya Desktop Video Device. Think of it as an iPad for business users.

A better way to think of Flare is as the new high-end desktop phone. When color touch screens were originally introduced on high-end desktop phones, few were actually adopted by mainstream employees. They were eye-candy meant for CEOs or for high-visible places where they might present an "edgier" image for  the business. Flare will play in the same space and as a replacement for a high-end phone, IT will have an easier time justifying the tablet, especially if it's for the CEO.

Look for Flare's mainstream impact to be less as an appliance tablet per se and more from the changes created on the desktop and other operating systems. Flare gives Avaya a video strategy, something that Cisco has long had. Until now, Avaya relied on Polycom for video.  While Flare will initially be available on the Avaya Desktop Video Device, eventually Flare will be brought to other devices.

Avaya expects to the Flare Experience to be available on its one-X Communications 6.0 client and the new Avaya 9600 series desk phone. Avaya already has some employees running a beta version of Flare on the iPad as well. How long before Avaya brings the Flare experience to the PC remains to be seen. 

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