Enterprise Connect Keynote: Kevin Kennedy of Avaya
It's all about SIP, and "sessions have come of age," says the company's President and CEO as he shows off the Flare experience and discusses what makes it work.
Kevin Kennedy, President and CEO of Avaya, kept it simple in his Tuesday keynote. You could sum it up in three letters: S.I.P.
Part of Kennedy's message was a higher-level take on something one of his tech gurus, Phil Edholm, said on Monday: SIP is to the latest generation of communications technology what TCP/IP was to the Internet. Namely, it's the foundation on which all the really cool interfaces and applications will be built.
"Sessions have come of age," Kennedy told the standing-room-only crowd.
As proof points, he cited the following statistics:
* 85% of enterprises with 500 or more employees have or are planning SIP infrastructure for WAN/datacenter consolidation
* The market for session border controllers grew 42% last year and is now worth $2.2 billion.
* SIP Trunking is already a $3.9 billion market
Bringing Brett Shockley of Avaya onstage, Kennedy launched into a demo of the company's Flare Experience, the touch-screen interface the powers the Avaya Desktop Video Device. The ADVD is a tablet form factor, but Avaya won't call it a tablet and has priced the device higher than tablets like the iPad--$3,600 list and $2,000 street for the ADVD once you bundle in the Flare software [corrected from earlier version]--so the biggest new news out of Kennedy's keynote was that Avaya will bring out the Flare Experience for iPads and Windows devices this year.
That's especially significant if Avaya sticks to Kennedy's commitment to "relentless innovation" featuring "devices not held hostage by Avaya." Getting Flare onto those third-party platforms will be a great start, and Avaya's best hope of getting its compelling interface into the hands of large numbers of users.
After Shockley ran through the Flare demo, Kennedy tied that into his theme: "In order to do that [enable Flare's impressive drag-and-drop, intuitive interface], you need a strong SIP infrastructure," he said.
With its Aura and ACE (Agile Communication Environment) one-two punch, Avaya clearly feels that SIP is its ticket to stay competitive in the battle against the twin giants of the North American communications industry, Cisco and Microsoft.