Avaya: We're not Cisco when it comes to tablets

Collaboration rival still investing in, developing tablet as BYOD kills the Cisco Cius

Despite Cisco's decision to end development on its Cius collaboration tablet, Avaya says it is still committed to its Flare Experience unified communications endpoint software... and to "support" the Avaya collaboration tablet on which it runs.

Avaya says it read the market for BYOD and unveiled a version of Flare for the iPad in January, called Flare Communicator. Flare Communicator offers integrated access to voice, email, and IM communications on an iPad, while Flare Experience - which runs on Avaya's Desktop Video Device (ADVD) tablet - provides the more holistic real-time communications and collaboration capabilities: desktop video, social media, audio/video/web conferencing, multiple directories, presence, instant messaging, and contextual history.

RELATED: Did Cisco Make the Right Call With Cius?

Avaya always intended to make the Flare Experience available for other devices than just its ADVD, a company spokesperson stated in an e-mail to The Cisco Connection:

At the time we initially launched Flare Experience on the ADVD, we said we would be continuing to make Flare Experience available for other devices. We made good on that in January this year with our first step of Flare Communicator for iPad, and will also releasing both the Communicator and the full Flare Experience for commercial tablets, PCs/MACs etc.

As just a reminder, the reason we launched Flare Experience with the ADVD is that commercial tablets were almost simultaneously making their first appearance and didn't have the capabilities that a business user might require for a communications device.  We have been in near lock-step with the maturing of commercial tablet capabilities with the release of Flare for BYOD devices.

For even a further step back in time, we were also the first company to deliver an enterprise communications app for the iPhone in one-X Mobile.  So we have fully understood the growth in the mobile workforce since early 2000, the impact of highly attractive end-user mobile devices and the convergence with business communications requirements.

Too late to save Cius, but Cisco also began moving certain features of its collaboration software to non-Cisco tablets and mobile devices earlier this year. Cisco unveiled Jabber for the iPad in March, which allows users of the Apple tablet to communicate using voice, video, IM, presence and conferencing, using standards like H264, XMPP and SIP for interoperability with other systems.

And in mourning Cius' demise this week, Cisco said it will "double down" on software offerings like its Jabber and WebEx products for more popular tablets and smartphones supporting a variety of operating systems.

Avaya's "fully committed" to the Flare Experience software, the spokesperson stated; but will ADVD go the way of Cius? From the spokesperson's initial e-mailed statement:

And yes, we will still support the ADVD, which is a very sleek desktop-device - different strokes for different folks, ya know.

And in response to a follow-up question on whether Avaya is still investing in and continuing development of ADVD, she states, "Affirmative."

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