Avaya Embraces Video


Avaya moved this week to fill in a big hole in its UC portfolio by unveiling a video conferencing capability called the “The Avaya Flare Experience.” The centerpiece of this announcement is the “Avaya Desktop Video Device”, an Android-based tablet similar to Cisco’s Cius and Apple’s iPad, though larger than the iPad and with support for HDMI out, HD video conferencing, and broadband high definition audio. While much of the press has focused on the tablet, the revolutionary aspect to Avaya’s approach is its user interface that allows for establishing of voice, video, or chat conversations with one or many people via simple drag and drop. The UI also allows users an integrated view of contacts from the corporate directory as well as public services such as Facebook (and eventually Skype), meaning you could engage in a three way chat via your own IM system and include a Facebook IM user. In addition to the new UI, Avaya also announced a set of video end-points, ranging from desktop to multi-screen room, enabling it to compete more directly with the likes of Cisco, Siemens, and Mitel who have all delivered video solutions as part of their UC offerings. Avaya’s approach takes a big leap toward integration of various communications and collaboration applications. Though the tablet is pricey (with an anticipated list price of $1,500-2,000), it serves as an interesting display of how UC integration on the back-end can improve productivity on the front-end.

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