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Avaya Roadmap Leverages Nortel Enterprise Gear

Focusing primarily on open standards and SIP, Avaya is wasting no time integrating its recently acquired Nortel Enterprise Solutions (NES) operation into its existing product mix. Avaya seems to have spent more time negotiating to buy the Nortel unit than it has in developing an integration plan, creating almost overnight a new giant in enterprise business communications. The new roadmap, outlined Tuesday, builds particularly on Avaya's existing Aura unified communications portfolio and integrates it with Nortel's enterprise solutions while offering easy upgrade paths for customers of both companies.

"The integrated roadmap we're outlining today supports Avaya's commitment to providing customers with the advanced communications capability they need to manage and grow their organizations," said Avaya's Alan Baratz in a statement. "In developing the portfolio, our guiding principle was to deliver the most compelling and cost-effective systems and services to customers and partners." Baratz is senior vice president and president, Global Communications Solutions, Avaya.

Avaya purchased Nortel's Enterprise Solutions unit, which recorded revenues of $2.4 billion in 2008, for $900 million in a deal that is increasingly looking like a bargain basement price. Avaya had initially offered $475 million for the unit last July, but raised its bid to $900 million to ward off a last minute attempt to purchase the unit by Siemens Enterprise Communications and its Gores Group private equity partner. Avaya is using its Aura SIP-based platform as an upgrade path for all existing Nortel voice and UC customers. The roadmap leverages Aura and Nortel's Agile Communications Environment (ACE) for existing and future customers.

The roadmap also utilizes Aura as the centerpiece of Avaya's contact center portfolio, enabling contact centers to move to a SIP-based, service-oriented architecture. With the goal of helping businesses and organizations to head off customer care demands, the contact center solution features a new work assignment model designed to connect customers, agents and information seamlessly.

Avaya also seeks to beef up its presence in the small and medium business market through its SIP-based Avaya Software Communication System that also draws heavily on NES solutions. Avaya said its Avaya IP Office, BCM, Norstar, PARTNER and Integral 5 operations are for sale including a plan to converge the platforms to the IP Office offering. Avaya reiterated its previous pledges that it will adopt the entire line of NES data products. The company noted that its data portfolio includes solutions for Ethernet switching, routers, wireless network, access control and unified management.