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Avaya and HP Expand Cloud Relationship

This week Avaya and HP Enterprise Services announced a multi-year agreement to offer cloud-based unified communications and contact center technology, and management solutions for enterprises. The companies held an analyst call, with HP represented by David Dowse, Practice Leader for Unified Communications and Collaboration-HP Enterprise Services, and Avaya by CTO Brett Shockley and Joe Manuele, VP Global SP/SI, Alliances and Cloud GTM. The executives were generous with their time and I was able to get three of my questions addressed.

What are the rules of engagement between HP and Avaya? HP has other partnerships in the UC space, for example HP Unified Communications Solutions for Microsoft Lync.

• This question was directed to HP; Dowse answered that, "The power of what we are going to do is the power of and." He went on to say that for specific opportunities, there may a need for a mix of solutions. HP's expertise with Lync may work to Avaya's advantage, allowing customers to feel more comfortable choosing elements of each portfolio.

One of the commercial elements of this announcement is that HP will be upgrading the hardware and software of its Avaya-based contact center. How large is HP's contact center operation, in terms of agents and number of locations?

• Dowse did not have specific numbers at his fingertips, but did say it was "very large and multi-faceted, supporting both HP customers directly as well as using the same platform to support HP Enterprise Solutions and some government customers." During an Enterprise Connect 2014 session on Contact Center and the Cloud, HP's George Jones reported that the company has 28,000 agents in 100 contact centers, across 34 countries, supporting 530+ clients in 51 languages.

Shockley added that HP's Avaya contact center infrastructure "today is primarily voice in nature," and the plan is to extend that with the newest elements of Avaya's Customer Experience portfolio, e.g., Collaboration Environment and Context Store.

Avaya announced in June 2013 that Avaya Collaborative Cloud solutions were being used as the foundation for the new HP Customer Engagement as a Service (CEaaS). What progress can you report on that offer?

• Once again, HP's Dowse did not share specific results; he did say that there has been "tremendous customer interest and uptake. This is a direction of travel for us." Shockley added, "That announcement was a great way for us to start diving into this relationship. This is phase 2 and phase 3."

During the call, Shockley said that the commercial agreements made between the two companies "is expected to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars." With joint customers like $43 billion JCI (Johnson Controls, Inc.) it's not hard to imagine joint revenue over the five year term of the agreement reaching the projected level.

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