Offerings from Motorola and Avaya; big vendors trade barbs
Motorola, for its part, demonstrated three new offerings under its Total Enterprise Access & Mobility moniker: support for voice over Wi-Fi, the extension of PBX services to Motorola smart phones, and the ability to hand off calls from a WLAN (wireless LAN) to a WAN. Avaya will step up competition with Nortel on the services front by building out an in-house consulting practice focused on the business and technical aspects of UC. If all goes as planned, the Avaya UC Services organization could end up with "a 1,000-person consulting capability globally for end clients and enabling partners," said Ajay Kapoor, leader of the Unified Communications Practice for Avaya."We're linking profiles and tying those in with hardcore technical integration across multivendors, including Microsoft, [different] mobile devices, and extending the Avaya product footprint," Kapoor said. The tendency to sniping between vendors seemed to reach new heights at VoiceCon, particularly in the keynotes. Cisco took most of the hits, between Avaya's Lou D'Ambrosio breaking Cisco's gift of a giant chocolate bar with Cisco's oversized logo on it and Microsoft's Gurdeep Singh Pall criticizing Cisco's single-vendor, vertical approach to UC. All Pall's talk about the openness of Microsoft's approach to unified communications seemed rather disingenuous. "It's great to hear Microsoft talk about interoperability. I hope they mean it," quipped IBM's Lotus General Manager Mike Rhodin in an interview with eWEEK. "Our focus is on the client, not the competition," he added. Rhodin couldn't resist taking the air out of Pall's balloon. Microsofties demonstrated a partner prototype of a radiology collaboration tool during Pall's keynote. Rhodin, in his keynote, pointed out that an IBM partner already has such a tool on the market, integrated with Sametime. "The things Microsoft announced this morning we announced over two years ago. We've had our open programming model for two years. Our [presence] federation has been in place a year. Integration with Carestream came out last fall," Rhodin said in the eWEEK interview.
To help reduce confusion among customers about what UC is and what business value it delivers, Avaya UC Services will focus on specific worker profiles, how specific types of businesses and their processes work, and how tailored UC offerings can help improve productivity, the company said.