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HP, Avaya Partner on Cloud-Based UC

Avaya will join its UC and contact center portfolio with HP's cloud computing capabilities to offer solutions to enterprises.

cloud UC

Avaya and Hewlett-Packard are partnering to deliver a portfolio of services around unified communications, contact centers and infrastructure modernization to enterprises.

Officials with Avaya and HP Enterprise Services announced Aug. 26 that they will leverage HP's strength in delivering services and Avaya's lineup of unified communications (UC) and contact center technologies to create a portfolio of UC-as-a-service (UCaaS), contact center-as-a-service and infrastructure modernization services. The partnership also will take advantage of HP's cloud capabilities, according to the companies.

In addition, the two vendors also agreed that HP will deliver UC and contact center services from Avaya through its Helion cloud platform. The deal includes transferring a number of employees and contractors from Avaya's Private Cloud Services unit to HP Enterprise Services, and integrating the services into HP's Mobility and Workplace and Business Process services practices.

Avaya will continue to handle the sales contracts and service-level agreements, and will be responsible for the overall customer experience, according to the company. The deal with HP is part of Avaya's larger strategy to become more of a software and services vendor, moving away from its hardware heritage, officials said.

Avaya expects its tightened relationship with HP to grow its customer base, according to Pierre-Paul Allard, senior vice president of worldwide sales and president of global field operations at Avaya.

"Businesses are increasingly seeking alternative models for deploying and managing innovative communications and collaboration technologies," Allard said in a statement. "The agreement with HP [will] quickly address what is already one of the fastest growing areas of our business. Through our long-term relationship, we already share many customers. We expect that base to grow significantly with this new model."

The deal also will improve HP's contact center capabilities, according to Mike Nefkens, executive vice president and general manager of HP Enterprise Services.

"The partnership with Avaya supports HP's larger vision for the 'New Style of IT,'" Nefkens said.

HP officials have talked about the growing need for IT infrastructures that are more scalable and agile to address the demands rising from such trends as big data analytics, mobile computing, social media and the cloud.

The UCaaS space is becoming increasingly competitive, with essentially every vendor—including Cisco Systems, Fujitsu, Microsoft, ShoreTel and Alcatel-Lucent—bringing their solutions to the cloud. Market research firm Frost and Sullivan are predicting that the North American hosted IP telephony and unified communications and collaboration market—which includes UCaaS—will hit $13.2 billion by 2020, growing at an annual rate of 28.4 percent.