IBM, Avaya Look to Secure Unified Communications

IBM and Avaya are expanding their partnership to help businesses better secure their UC environments. Avaya has certified some security products from IBM's ISS unit to run with its new Aura UC architecture. In addition, IBM will incorporate Aura into its own converged communications solutions.

IBM and Avaya are looking to increase the security around joint unified communications offerings, a key concern as more businesses embrace a converged communications environment.

The two companies are planning to build UC offerings that include security products from IBM's ISS (Internet Security Systems) business-including the Proventia GX 5208 and Management SiteProtector SP1001-that have been certified by Avaya to work with Avaya's IP telephony solutions.

The result will be enhanced IBM intrusion protection for Avaya's Aura communication system, the two companies said June 11.

In addition, IBM will incorporate Aura-which is Avaya's new UC architecture-into its converged communications services.

The expanded partnership illustrates the importance of businesses that are adopting UC environments to take a more holistic, multivendor approach to such issues as security, according to Dan Powers, vice president of brand, strategy, marketing and business development at IBM ISS.

"Individual workers will assume security comes from the core, but they can be one of the most vulnerable points of entry if it does not," Powers said in a statement. "IBM has created solutions in our intrusion prevention systems designed to help prevent current and emerging threats and help keep unified communications deployments secure."

IDC analyst Jason Leung said in March that he expects the momentum behind UC adoption among enterprises to grow in 2009 as businesses look for ways to improve productivity while also reducing operating costs.

IBM is banking on that. The company is in the second year of a three-year plan, announced in March 2008, to invest $1 billion to bulk up its UC and collaboration offerings.