In a bid to better compete in the crowded enterprise unified communications (UC) landscape, Avaya Monday introduced several offerings for mobile workers and a services program, all geared toward helping businesses achieve better workforce responsiveness.
Today's product announcements puts the telephony call center giant head-to-head with a growing list of UC vendors including IBM, Cisco, Citrix, Nortel Networks and Microsoft.
At the heart of Avaya's (NYSE: AV) new launches is its Intelligent Presence server, featuring an application that collects and integrates users' presence information -- that is, their location, status and availability -- from multiple sources.
Those sources include landline and mobile phones, and e-mail and instant messaging (IM) applications. The server can pull users' availability information from those sources into other apps to help coordinate activities and collaboration.
"We define UC as orchestrating communication and collaboration across time, location and medium to accelerate business," Allan Mendelsohn, the company's senior marking director, told InternetNews.com. "We are about making communication happen with the right people, at the right time, despite whatever network location device. It's all about working smarter."
The product also integrates user information from third-party communication tools as well, such as Google e-mail.
Avaya's Intelligent Presence server is built on the Jabber Extensive Communications Platform, a real-time enterprise instant messaging and presence platform licensed from Jabber, Inc., and based on the Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP). In addition to XMPP, the Intelligent Presence server also ties into other protocols often used by enterprise VOIP, IM and messaging and collaboration platforms, including Session Initiation Protocol (also known as SIP) and SIP's IM-focused offshoot, SIMPLE.
As a result, it will also integrate with Microsoft Office Communicator. Future integration with IBM (NYSE: IBM) Lotus Sametime and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) Exchange will come later in the year, Avaya said.
Available in the second quarter, the offering will become a component of Avaya's Unified Communications Standard Edition, the vendor's overarching UC software suite -- though it will also be sold individually.