Avaya and Skype team up

* Will deliver real-time communications and collaboration solutions

Avaya and Skype have signed a strategic agreement to deliver real-time communications and collaboration solutions. The multi-phase deal encompasses joint marketing efforts and technology integration.

Avaya and Skype have signed a strategic agreement to deliver real-time communications and collaboration solutions. The multi-phase deal encompasses joint marketing efforts and technology integration.

Under the terms of the agreement, as a first step Avaya customers in the U.S. market will have access to Skype Connect using a providing a Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) communications channel between Avaya communications systems and Skype. Skype Connect was released as a service in August 2010; and more details about the service can be found here.

Interested customers can contact Avaya and its channel partners beginning in October 2010 to sign up for the service

Avaya customers using the Avaya Aura Session Manager or Avaya Aura SIP Enablement Server, CS1000, Avaya IP Office, or BCM systems will have access to the Skype service. Skype users can also make inbound calls to Avaya customers in the U.S. market for free or at a low cost; Skype reported 124 million average monthly connected users during Q2 2010.

Calls using Skype will be handled much like any other call using Avaya systems. For example, using the integrated features, businesses will be able to "establish Skype Click & Call buttons for inbound calling from Web sites, establish Skype Online Numbers for inbound calling from landline and mobile phones, and route inbound calls from a Skype user to an enterprise extension," according to the a statement released by Avaya.

Avaya and Skype plan to deliver more unified communications and collaboration features in the second half of 2011, with the roadmap calling for easy interactions between Avaya users and Skype users via presence, instant messaging, voice and video.

Avaya's Senior Vice President Alan Baratz said in a statement, "Avaya and Skype have been working along parallel paths to offer innovative, scalable, low cost, SIP-based communications to our respective markets. Now, the two companies will work together, striving to improve collaboration and customer service by federating Avaya and Skype solutions for a common user experience that delivers unique benefits for businesses and their customers who are Skype users."

Commenting for Skype, David Gurlé, vice president and general manager of Skype for Business said, "Our relationship with Avaya is expected to expand the footprint for Skype Connect into more enterprises in the U.S. market, while allowing us to help Avaya's customers benefit from Skype's cost savings and access to Skype's global user base."

On a separate note, we need to make a clarification from our last newsletter about Genband's acquisitions from Tekelec. In March 2007, Genband acquired Tekelec's switching division, not the whole company. We have corrected the online version of our report and apologize for any inconvenience.

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Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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