Avaya Lets Developers Embed Communications in Cloud Apps

Technology from the Esna acquisition means users do not have to get out of the applications they're working in when they want to collaborate.


Avaya officials this week are unveiling the first product resulting from its acquisition in May of Esna Technologies as well as a new model of the company's prepackaged Collaboration Pods aimed at midsize enterprises.

At the International Avaya Users Group's Converge2015 conference June 18, the company announced the Avaya Communicator for Web, a browser extension that enables customers to embed real-time communication and collaboration capabilities into cloud-based applications, such as Salesforce.com, Google Apps and Microsoft's Office 365.

By doing so, users won't have to get out of the application they're working in when they want to use a collaboration tool—from voice and instant messaging to presence and conferencing—to communicate with others. They can also move from one application to another or change devices without disrupting what they're doing.

Communicator for Web can work with either Google's Chrome or Microsoft's Internet Explorer Web browsers, according to Bob Romano, vice president of video marketing at Avaya.

"We know that today's busy professionals live and work in the browser," Romano said in a post on the company blog. "And increasingly, companies are moving their core business applications to the cloud. This gives us an opportunity to make these cloud-based apps even more valuable by embedding communication functions inside them."

A growing number of vendors are offering customers the ability to embed communications and collaboration tools into applications. That ability is increasingly important as trends like IT mobility, cloud computing and the Internet of things (IoT) continue to grow, fueling the demand from businesses and individuals for the ability to communicate from anywhere and on any device via the cloud. Cisco Systems expanded its capabilities in this area last month with the acquisition of Tropo, whose cloud API platform is designed to make it easy for developers to embed communications in their applications.

Genband in September 2014 introduced Kandy, a development platform that enables organizations and developers to build real-time communications into Web- and cloud-based applications.

Avaya Communicator for Web will initially be available with Avaya IP Office, according to Romano. At the time of the Esna acquisition, Avaya official said it eventually also will make the tool available in its Aura platform.

The company on June 16 unveiled the Collaboration Pod 2400 Series that is designed for midsize enterprises. Avaya introduced the first Collaboration Pods in 2012, which target larger businesses. The Collaboration Pods are integrated, prepackaged solutions that include servers, storage, networking, applications and management software and can be deployed quickly. In addition to the Collaboration Pod 2400, Avaya is launching an onboarding program to enable channel partners to quickly deliver the package to customers, as well as a demo program for both customers and channel partners.

"Midsize enterprises understand the strategic value of technology, but typically have more financial and skills support restraints than larger enterprises," Liam Kiely, vice president of network infrastructure at Avaya, said in a statement, adding that the Collaboration Pod 2400 not only gives them a prepackaged solution, but also the tools they and partners need to get them up and running quickly.

The pods are based on technology not only from Avaya, but also Hewlett-Packard, EMC and VMware, according to company officials. Each Collaboration Pod can be customized to address specific business needs. The 2400s support the earlier Collaboration Pod 4200, which launched in 2014 and is designed for larger enterprises and cloud service providers.

The Collaboration Pod 2400 will become available in late June, and Avaya is scheduling Collaboration Pod Elite workshops for channel partners in the United States in July, the United Kingdom in October and Singapore in November.

Editor's note: This story was changed to correct the name of the user conference.