Avaya Inc. announced Monday that it has upgraded its Agile Communication Environment (ACE) software platform, layering it on Avaya Aura, to enable what it dubs the second generation of communications-enabled business processes, or CEBP 2.0.
Avaya ACE, a legacy Nortel product, was introduced in late 2007 and is now in its sixth iteration with release 2.3. It uses Service-Oriented Architecture and Web Services to facilitate development of communications-enabled applications.
The new release includes integration with Avaya Aura as promised in Avayas Nortel integration roadmap announced in January 2010. Avaya Aura, which was released in March 2009, is an architecture that integrates communications across multivendor, multilocation and multimodal businesses.
ACE layered on top of Aura redefines the way CEBP can be done. Its the next wave of CEBP CEBP 2.0 where we are making communications enablement so simple, so easy that it can drive business agility,” said Sajeel Hussain, director of UC marketing for Avaya ACE.
Hussain described CEBP 1.0 as being single-vendor, voice-centric and requiring changes to the PBX as well as the expertise of a computer-telephony integrator. In contrast CEBP2.0 is more IT-centric, breaks the tight linkage with the PBX, requires no deep telecom expertise, is muiltivendor and multimodal (e.g. involving voice, text, SMS, IM, video, presence).
Hussain said Avaya ACE includes two components: prepackaged applications that are field proven and require little integration, and toolkits or API that can be used to build communications-enabled applications. With 2.3, all the prepackaged apps are extended to Aura. In addition, the toolkit now offers developers the ability to invoke applications during call setup. The network has the ability to treat a call before it is [answered]. That was not possible with CEBP 1.0,” he said.
With Avaya ACE 2.3, Avaya also has included a client-side add-in for Microsoft Communicator that allows employees to click-to-call from online or premises-based Microsoft Communicator clients and engage in the conversation using their Avaya desktop phones. This can be integrated under the Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 standard client access license. Avaya plans to extend this capability to the latest version of OCS called Lync in 2011.
The new version also includes a packaged application to embed voice in the latest release of IBM Lotus Notes and Sametime. Employees can click-to-call and see telephony presence from within Lotus Release 8.5.1 while using desk phones from Avaya or other vendors.
Avaya Connect channel partners are taking advantage of Avaya ACE packaged applications and the developer toolkit to build differentiated CEBP solutions for their customers.
CROSS Telecom, a Platinum-certified Avaya Connect channel partner, sees great potential for innovation with Avaya ACE toolkits.With Avaya ACE you have the concept of a communications mashup,” said David Lover, CTO for CROSS Telecom, in a press statement. You can take the services provided by different components such as voicemail, web portal, or contact center and combine them together right away to create an application that is totally new, totally unique, and totally different from anything a manufacturer would typically give you in 18 months.”