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Avaya Flare Opens to Third-Party Devices, Step by Step

When Avaya announced the Flare Experience and the Avaya Video Desktop Device in September 2010, I wrote here on No Jitter, "moving Avaya Flare to a computer desktop--and quickly--is a must." I'm sure no one at the time would have predicted it would be 16 months before Flare software appeared on a non-Avaya device, the Apple iPad.

The market requirement to bring Flare to additional devices is clear from one number, repeated twice in yesterday's analyst briefing. The first time was when Avaya highlighted the breadth of users who trialed Flare for iPad (partners and a public beta) before release--4,000+. That same number was repeated later during the Q&A when fellow No Jitter blogger Blair Pleasant asked how many Avaya Desktop Video Devices have been sold to date--4,000+. While the obvious difference between more than a couple of thousand dollars for ADVD and free for Avaya Flare for iPad partially accounts for the large number of trial adopters, I predict 16 months from now--even with users paying for the product--Avaya will have tens of thousands of Flare users in iPad.

With the good news of Flare availability on iPad comes some not so good news. Initially, the iPad will not support video. That will be delivered in second half 2012. My first reaction was: Isn't HD video the whole point of Flare? Avaya makes a good case that even without video, Flare on the iPad makes for a compelling UC client.

Avaya has made a nomenclature change to highlight Flare solutions with and without video: Flare Communicator solutions are UC clients, Flare Experience solutions support video. What became available January 16, 2012 is Avaya Flare Communicator for iPad. Avaya Flare Experience for iPad comes later in the year. That nomenclature will carry forward with Flare Communicator for Windows (due mid-2012) and Flare Experience for Windows (end of 2012).

So as promised at launch, the porting of the Flare Experience to additional devices has begun. As can be seen from a perusal of Dave Michels' UC Client Round-up on No Jitter earlier this month, sexy clients are a compelling way to present a portfolio’s communications capabilities and in my opinion, Avaya's Flare leads the pack.