Avaya Acquires Traverse, Unifies Product Strategy

Avaya on Thursday made two related announcements: the acquisition of enterprise mobility software maker Traverse Networks; and a new product strategy centered around unified communications.

Avaya’s unified communications products give corporate users easy access to all of their communications applications — from telephony, collaboration and presence, to conferencing and instant messaging, said Avaya Vice President of Software Strategy Jorge Blanco.

“[They] can access these channels through a device of their choice and through a network of their choice,” he told CRM Buyer.

Varying Degrees

Avaya’s new solutions — four product levels that provide varying degrees of functionality — take into account companies’ IT preparedness and how far they want to take their communications technology, Blanco said.

The US$15 million Traverse Networks deal is part of that strategy, he added. For starters, it will expand the number of smart devices Avaya supports to more than 500. Until now, Avaya collaborated with Nokia, but “with the acquisition of Traverse we have extended not only the range of devices, but also the functionality,” Blanco explained.

The new unified communications editions include the following:

  • Essential Edition — for office-based users who need advanced IP telephony and messaging support, as well as basic conferencing functionality;
  • Standard Edition — for users who want advanced mobility tools, including unified office and mobile communications tools across all major mobile platforms;
  • Advanced Edition — for users who gain a competitive advantage by collaborating with large teams using integrated voice and whiteboard sessions; and
  • Professional Edition — for users who need video communications and speech recognition, including high-definition video conferencing and voice-driven access to messages and other personal applications.

The unified communications software market, as defined by Avaya, is worth between US$7 billion and $8 billion, not counting contact center applications. Services, Blanco claimed, are another $7 billion or so.

“We are targeting both,” he said, adding that Avaya will be relying on its partners, as well as forming new ties to expand its strategy. The firm will announce new strategic relationships within the next 30 days, he noted.

Open Standards

Avaya’s unified communications products use open industry standards and cross-platform protocols, enabling enterprises to integrate disparate networks, applications and devices.

The four new editions will be available in the first half of 2007. Pricing will vary based on deployment and license terms.

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