Avaya Offers Free Phone Apps
Could more open development save the business desk phone?
I think this is kind of cool: Avaya is giving away a free IP phone application; it happens to be one that can run a series of ads on the display of an IP phone.Here's what Avaya says about the app:
Examples of how to use the Rotating Ads application include:
* Hospitality--lease display space to partner services such as car rental agencies, travel agencies or local retailers
* Retail--send in-store sales and cross promotional information to customer service phone displays
* Higher Education--lease advertisement space on campus phones to campus vendors such as food, banking or retail services
* Enterprise--deliver messages to your employees through out the day; motivational messages, reminders of key goals for success
This strikes me as a clever way to push out the message about IPT applications. It's clearly modeled after the Apple iPhone App Store model, which isn't a bad model for you.
This particular app seems particularly suited to the Avaya notion of the "media phone" being a major future incarnation of the traditional desk set--what better way to show off what these phones can do than by building a bunch of apps and then making them easily available?
The devil's in the details here. For example, it's not clear to me who wrote this application, but if Avaya (or anyone else, for that matter) really intended to follow the iPhone App Store model, the app should come from a Dev Connect partner, or better yet, from somebody who just took it upon themselves to write an Avaya phone app because, say, they're a user and they wanted some feature that wasn't on the phone currently.
That, in turn, suggests that development for Avaya phones should be pretty wide open, beyond even the Dev Connect community. It goes back to something Gurdeep Singh Pall of Microsoft often says about competing vendors that tout the number of partners in their development programs: "If you know how many developers you have, you're not a platform company."
Can Avaya (and Cisco, and the rest of the IP-PBX companies) really be open to this level of development? It's been a huge success in the iPhone environment, and the iPhone isn't a piece of commodity hardware. So it's not like we're talking about Avaya, et al surrendering to the inevitable tide of cheap SIP phones.
Could more open development save the business desk phone? Or, if it turns out that nothing can save the business desk phone, could more open development at least help the incumbent voice vendors create PC- and mobile-based communications endpoints that let increasingly tech-savvy users do what they really want?Could more open development save the business desk phone?