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5/2/2005
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Avaya's Lofty Goal: Automated Business Communications

Avaya says its new products support business-driven processes that automatically link people through a variety of communication channels, including voice, video, and text.

Avaya Inc. on Monday rolled out several products that it says will serve as the groundwork for helping companies set up business-driven processes that automatically link people through a variety of communication channels, including voice, video, and text.

Avaya's strategic road map involves further developing its products to support a wide range of channels and technologies, including telephony, audio and video conferencing, instant messaging, contact centers, voice mail, and E-mail, and integrating these communications through Web-based services on any network.

For example, Avaya says its goal is to let a company set up an automated process where a factory inventory application would use the quickest and most appropriate communication channel to contact the right decision makers regarding low inventory. "We now take real-time communications to the next level, from real-time to right-time communications. The result will be the redefinition of business communications," said Don Peterson, chairman and CEO of Avaya, at a press conference the company held Monday. "By linking communications apps to business apps within business processes, we'll enable the reinvention of business processes and innovation in business models."

Avaya didn't provide any specific time lines for its right-time communications vision.

Avaya Communication Manager, its flagship telephony product, has been upgraded to offer higher levels of availability. Version 3.0 of its Converged Communications Server offers an enhanced set of apps for the Session Initiation Protocol, a Web-services-based protocol for voice over IP. Avaya also released Application Assurance Networking, a product suite that's designed to work over any communication channel. Finally, Avaya's new PC-based "softphone" merges voice with enterprise "presence" and instant messaging to automatically let employees within a business know if their colleagues are available for communication via voice or text, for example.

Avaya also said it's working with Juniper Networks In. to jointly develop converged communications products for enterprises. The companies plan to integrate Avaya's apps with Juniper's routing and security technology. "Costs are still important" to enterprises, said Louis J. D'Ambrosio, Avaya's group VP of global sales, channels, and marketing, "but we're increasingly seeing a move in the convergence space with a focus around higher-value applications--applications embedded into business processes to help redefine business models."

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