Unified Communications and Collaboration; these terms are likely to be with us for many years to come in the world of steadily more integrated business communications. Avaya's announcement of 31 January, 2011 to tell us their Aura IP platform for businesses is now compatible with IBM Lotus Notes and Sametime, is an extension of an IBM / Avaya relationship of some years. While “unified communications” and “collaboration” usually refer to integrating communications functionality within an organization, hardware and service vendors must also unify and collaborate to keep their offerings competitive and extend their markets.
IBM gains access to Avaya customers with business communications systems built on the Avaya Aura platform, Avaya gains by becoming a somewhat more significant player in the IBM business consulting services bag of tools, and benefits from IBM's strength in the global corporate market.
An additional benefit to IBM may be the extension of Lotus Notes and Lotus Sametime environments in new directions. Lotus Notes, a “graybeard” product in the world of integrated individual communications, faces significant pressure from newer solutions offered by Microsoft and Google, among others.
Avaya also hopes to gain greater visibility for their proprietary hardware / software user tool with the rather grandiose name, the Avaya Flare Experience. Available now on the Avaya Desktop Video Device, the Flare Experience will also support the Lotus user environment.
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