Avaya has teamed with VMware to ensure that Aura - the company's UC platform for managing voice, video and other call and contact center applications - can run on virtualized equipment, creating potential cost savings for customers by more efficiently using their hardware, while allowing for easier management of the communication systems.
Avaya is not alone in offering virtualized UC platforms though. Irwin Lazar, who leads UC market studies for Nemertes Research, says Avaya has trailed the market in terms of virtualizing its platform, with competitors Cisco, Siemens, Microsoft and Shoretel having previously optimized parts or all of their platforms for virtualization. A recent study by Nemertes found that 70% of enterprises were either deploying or considering integrating virtualization technology into their communications systems. Combined with Avaya's wide customer base - especially since its 2009, $900 million acquisition of Nortel - Lazar believes Avaya will have plenty of opportunity to compete in the market with a virtualized Aura product. "We've certainly heard from Avaya customers that they want this capability," Lazar says.
Avaya's telephony, messaging, conference, and hard and soft endpoint call and contact center applications all run on its Aura platform, which today can now run on virtualized equipment. Aura is deployed at small companies all the way up to the largest enterprises with thousands of endpoints, says Gary Barnett, senior vice president and general manager of Avaya Collaboration Platforms.