Avaya to Show UC Options to Nortel Enterprise Users

Nortel Networks enterprise customers on Tuesday will get a glimpse of what an Avaya Inc. takeover means for them.

On Tuesday, Avaya, which purchased Nortel’s enterprise assets at auction last September, will show its new clients, and established ones, how to implement a unified communications platform without replacing existing equipment.

That’s according to a new report from Network World as Avaya has been working to eliminate overlap between its products and those from bankrupt Nortel. Avaya won the rights to Nortel’s global Enterprise Solutions business last year after Nortel started selling itself off in pieces. The acquisition left many Nortel users concerned about which products Avaya will and won’t keep, and wondering whether their systems will continue to receive support.

Yet, Avaya executives appear to have considered those fears since, Network World said; they plan to talk up ways to expand capabilities without costing a lot of money or incurring a lot of disruption.

To do that, Avaya plans to use its SIP-based software, Aura, to make legacy Avaya and Nortel PBXs interoperable, Network World reported. That means voice, video, conferencing, mobility and messaging platforms from both companies will then work together, without end-users having to buy new PBXs or phones.

That ability to bridge the gap between legacy voice infrastructure and IP capabilities is Avaya’s strength, Cary Bush, sales director for enterprise VAR Logista, wrote in a recent column for PHONE+. Aura, Bush said, “works equally well with Nortel or any other installed base, which is an excellent position to be in.” For large organizations with multiple sites, the advantage is clear, he added – lower total cost of ownership and quick return on investment. All of that makes Aura “one of the better migration stories on the street right now,” said Bush.

If that’s indeed the case, Avaya will have positioned itself well with Nortel users, many of whom are not ready to invest in expensive new technology just because their vendor went bankrupt.

Privately held Avaya bid against rival equipment maker Siemens for the rights to buy Nortel’s global Enterprise Solutions business. After a protracted weekend auction, Avaya won with a $900 million offer – almost double its original bid of $475 million. The victory gave the enterprise assets, as well as some government-focused properties and DiamondWare Ltd., a software development offshoot of Nortel.

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