Avaya and HP team up for SMB voice and data offer

25 Jul 2003

Avaya and HP have entered into a joint marketing agreement to combine products for voice and data communications that will be provided as an all-in-one bundle to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The deal is a worldwide agreement which is being implemented in North America first, with Europe to follow. The companies have not yet decided on a timeframe for when the product will be available in Europe, but Avaya has confirmed that the solution would be available in Ireland.

Avaya’s IP Office solution and communication applications will be integrated with HP ProLiant servers, as part of an all-in-one solution designed specifically for SMBs. The companies are in the process of building a common distribution and reseller channel to supply the product bundle. A basic system is due to retail in North America for US$15,000, although the price will be determined by the configuration of the machines and the customer’s choice of applications. Pricing has not been set for the European market.

In addition, Avaya has certified HP’s ProLiant ML310, ML330 and DL320 servers as preferred platforms to run Avaya IP Office software. “This is a proven, reliable platform,” said Anthony Karakkal, director of strategy and planning for Avaya’s SMB solutions group.

Avaya IP Office can support from two to 256 users and provides small businesses with secure IP networking capabilities and management tools typically used in much larger enterprises. HP ProLiant servers will be bundled with IP Office to host the robust range of applications available for the Avaya system, from voice mail to contact centre software. Providing all of these features in a single bundle was the best way to serve SMB customers, Karakkal told siliconrepublic.com. “SMBs prefer one-stop shopping,” he said.

Karakkal pointed out that the remote user capability in IP Office would allow businesses to let their employees work from home, connecting to the server over a standard internet protocol link. Avaya and HP are looking into the possibility of partnering with an ISP to enable this feature, he added.

IP Office was first introduced early last year and 12,000 units had been sold by March of this year. According to Karakkal, the system is differentiated from competing products by its strong messaging applications and contact centre applications. Avaya also has a partnership agreement with Microsoft to use the latter’s CRM software in conjunction with IP Office.

By Gordon Smith