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November 28, 2007

Avaya: Developers the Key to Business Communications



By Erik Linask
Group Managing Editor


Nobody will question the ongoing evolution on the world of communications. It is in the midst of a transition that began with TDM voice, moved to IP-based communications, which is now growing into its own as Intelligent Communications. This transition to embedding communications features in business processes, however, is not unlike the computer mainframe industry of the recent past.

 
As Avaya’s vice president of Developer Relations Eric Rossman noted as he opened the first of two days at the 2007 Avaya Developer Conference in Eatontown, New Jersey, the real value of a computer wasn’t realized until applications for it were developed — the same, he says, holds true for voice communications. The true value of technology has not become apparent until now, with the development of applications to consolidate and unify speech and other business processes.
 
It is Avaya’s mission to drive this transition further, to continue to create additional business value for its user group through the promotion of coordinated applications that will simplify business processes while generating additional revenue for each partner, including the end user.
 
For many, this value add ends with Unified Communications, but for Avaya, UC is merely a stepping stone — albeit an important one — to creating a business communications experience that highlights ease of use and maximum return. It is this common desire that drew some 200 developers to Avaya’s 2007 Developer Conference.
 
To encourage continued development, Avaya has embraced the opportunity to grow its direct sales force, including providing additional training emphasizing solutions marketing and selling. In addition, it has challenged the communications community with an intensified marketing effort of its DevConnect program, including additional application and testing facilities, which is hopes will spark continued investment in the development of speech applications do drive business opportunity.
 
Among the key reasons for Avaya’s continued emphasis on its developer community is the realization that, in order to drive solutions to market, it needs strong alliances — alliances to sell through, to sell with, and to jointly develop new products. 
 
Inherent in this development effort is the propagation of new SIP-based applications, which Avaya believes is the key to intelligent communications. “It’s where we are going,” said Rossman.
 
As part of its ongoing promotion of SIP-based communications, Avaya invites the community to use SIP Center as a vendor neutral educational resource. SIP Center, owned by Ubiquity Software (News - Alert) when it was acquired by Avaya back in January, provides a venue for users and developers alike to discuss SIP applications and the many benefits of adopting SIP as a communications protocol.
 
In addition to promoting the growth of SIP, Avaya is also simplifying its DevConnect program for 2008 — while enhancing the value membership provides. Specifically, Avaya is offering a greater choice to members in terms of opting for added testing or marketing support, or both. Among the key benefits of partnering with Avaya is testing is conducted in-house at its facilities in Lincroft, New Jersey, not through a third-party facility, as is the case with other vendors. 
 
Rossman says the Avaya Labs (News - Alert) facility is something the company continues to invest in, largely because Avaya sees the value in embracing the developer community. By building the DevConnect program based on recommendations and requests from members, Avaya solidifies its commitment to enhancing not only its own solutions and those of its partners, but also driving innovation across the entire communications landscape.
 
The investment Avaya is making in the developer community evident in the innovation resulting from the project. For instance, Rossman noted the DeWalt Mobilelock product, a security device with built-in GPS that acts as a standalone wireless security product. The intelligent communications technology embedded in the device enables end users to protect their investments, while creating an additional revenue source for Black & Decker, as well as for Sprint (News - Alert), over whose network the Mobilelock device communicates.
 
Additional information and case studies are available on Avaya’s Web site, including the Washington D.C. government, and BSNF, which used an application that bridges RF radios and IP phones.
 
Ultimately, the goal of Avaya’s efforts in promoting continued development is to drive to drive the process whereby data can be converted to information, and information to action. By creating applications to simplify the appropriate action, based on available information, Avaya and its developer partners will continue to simplify business processes, creating a more efficient, cost effective, and ultimately more profitable business communications experience.
 
For more information on Avaya’s Developer program, please visit www.avaya.com/devconnect.
 
Erik Linask (News - Alert) is Associate Editor of INTERNET TELEPHONY, IMS Magazine, and Unified Communications.  Prior to joining TMC (News - Alert), he was Managing Editor at Global Custodian, an international securities services publication. To see more of his articles, please visit Erik Linask’s columnist page.

 

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