Dave Michels
Dave Michels is a Principal Analyst at TalkingPointz. His unique perspective on unified communications comes from a career involving telecommunications...
Read Full Bio >>

Dave Michels | May 28, 2015 |


Avaya Acquires Esna

Avaya Acquires Esna The company gains respected cloud integration platform, with eye toward facilitating communications-enabled business processes and applications.

The company gains respected cloud integration platform, with eye toward facilitating communications-enabled business processes and applications.

Avaya today announced the acquisition of Esna Technologies with the stated intent of facilitating seamless communications-enabled integrations.

Esna, a 25-year-old Canadian firm, has evolved over the years from unified messaging into a cloud integration platform. Along the way, it has amassed numerous technology partnerships and alliances. As of today, Esna is a wholly owned subsidiary of Avaya. Avaya did not disclose terms of the deal, but said it has acquired all of Esna assets, employees, channel partners, and intellectual property.


This announcement is one of several this month that indicate how UC providers are extending their focus from multimodal communications to integration platform. The concept of enabling applications and processes with communications certainly isn't new, but it has played second fiddle to the UC mantra of work anywhere, anytime, on any device.

Here's a quick list of other major UC integration moves made this month:

  • Microsoft previewed a highly integrated suite of products at its recent Ignite conference. Its vision spans multiple applications (and devices), including Skype for Business, Outlook/Exchange, Office 365, OneDrive, and SharePoint (see related post, Is the UC Industry the Next Novell?).
  • Cisco announced its intent to acquire cloud API provider Tropo (see related No Jitter post, Cisco to CPaaS Providers: Game On! and my TalkingPointz post, Cisco to Acquire Tropo).
  • Vonage acquired gUnify, which integrates with several cloud applications, including Google for Work, Zendesk, Salesforce's Sales Cloud, and Clio for law practice management. RingCentral and several other UCaaS providers use gUnify solutions.
  • Switch Communications, a UCaaS provider, announced funding of $35 million, as reported on No Jitter. To date the company has focused on UCaaS integrated with Google Apps, but may now expand with additional cloud integrations.

The Avaya UC clients support various integration tools, but the world is shifting from desktop apps to browser tabs. Esna has developed a library of headless, browser-based integrations to popular cloud services including Google Apps, Salesforce's Sales Cloud, Microsoft's Office 365, Jive, and Zimbra.

Esna already integrates with Avaya Scopia Desktop, and Avaya said that next month it intends to release a new Esna-powered browser extension that integrates Avaya IP Office with Google, Office 365, and In addition, it plans an integration to Aura for later this summer, and aims to integrate Esna's services into its Engagement Development Platform.

A Web-based, thin-client architecture streamlines integrations. As Gary Barnett, SVP and GM of Avaya's Engagement Solutions business unit, wrote in a blog post today, "It takes roughly seven clicks to move from the business application to communicate as desired, ... [which is] disruptive to collaboration, stifles engagement and impedes progress." With Web integrations, collaboration takes just a few clicks.

For example, with the Esna/Scopia integration, initiating a video conference from within Google Apps takes just a few clicks, with one-click scheduling of Scopia conferences from within Google Calendar. Esna also enables all this from low-cost Chromebooks, which are less expensive than either the PC or phone they could replace.

Of all of Esna's cloud integrations, the Google Apps integration is probably the one Avaya found most attractive. Avaya recently announced an agent client for Chromebooks and an on-demand contact center utilizing Google's Cloud Platform (see related post, Avaya & Google: 'Showing Part 2 of 5'). The Esna-Google Apps integration supports click-to-call, fax, IM/presence, group chat, call control, and location sharing. Collaborative actions are available in documents stored in Google Drive.

Google Apps are the primary alternative (and complement) to Microsoft Office. Google Apps are particularly strong in SMB, government, and education sectors.

While Avaya still supports the Microsoft suite, it is positioning around an alternative (opposite) narrative that is highly integrated but uses thin-client apps, cloud-based applications, and inexpensive, cloud-ready workstations.

Cisco previously directed customers to Esna for integrating its UC and video solutions to Google, Salesforce, and Jive. Esna offers specific products for WebEx, Jabber, and Telepresence, and Cisco directly distributes them via the Cisco SolutionsPlus program. Presumably, Cisco will now need to find a replacement go-to-market partner. Avaya-Esna will continue to support the installed base.

Esna's solutions are integrated with many other UC platforms including those from Mitel, ShoreTel, and Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise. Esna claims a customer base of more than 10,000 companies and a channel network with 200-plus partners.

It is nice to see the industry focusing more on integration. Communications-enabling business processes and applications was part of the original promise of VoIP and UC; however, it's the cloud that will make CEBP reign. The next phase of UC will be all about integration. Get ready for: Collaborate from anywhere, anytime, on any device, in any app.

Dave Michels is a contributing cditor and analyst at TalkingPointz.

Follow Dave Michels on Twitter and Google+!
Dave Michels on Google+


Enterprise Connect Orlando 2017
March 27-30 | Orlando, FL
Connect with the Entire Enterprise Communications & Collaboration Ecosystem

Stay Up-to-Date: Hear industry visionaries in Keynotes and General Sessions delivering the latest insight on UC, mobility, collaboration and cloud

Grow Your Network: Connect with the largest gathering of enterprise IT and business leaders and influencers

Learn From Industry Leaders: Attend a full range of Conference Sessions, Free Programs and Special Events

Evaluate All Your Options: Engage with 190+ of the leading equipment, software and service providers

Have Fun! Mingle with sponsors, exhibitors, attendees, guest speakers and industry players during evening receptions

Special Offer - Save $200 Off Advance Rates

Register now with code NOJITTEREB to save $200 Off Advance Rates or get a FREE Expo Pass!

March 8, 2017

Enterprise IT's ability to innovate is critical to the success of the business -- 80% of CIOs agree. But the CIO role has never been more challenging than it is today, with rising operational respo

February 22, 2017

Sick of video call technology that make participants look like they're in the witness protection program? Turns out youre not alone. Poor-quality video solutions can give users an unprofessional ap

February 7, 2017

Securing voice communications used to be very simple since it was generally a closed system. However, with unified communications (UC) you no longer have the walled protection offered by a dedicate

February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.