Marty Parker
Marty Parker brings over three decades of experience in both computing solutions and communications technology. Marty has been a...
Read Full Bio >>

Marty Parker | October 17, 2016 |


Avaya Converges UC, Conferencing User Experiences

Avaya Converges UC, Conferencing User Experiences In a welcome move for enterprises, company rationalizes user experience across unified communications, collaboration, and conferencing.

In a welcome move for enterprises, company rationalizes user experience across unified communications, collaboration, and conferencing.

Avaya today announced the long-awaited convergence of the unified communications and conferencing user experience, or UX, into a new platform it calls Avaya Equinox. This should be a welcome evolution for enterprises using Avaya Aura for audio, Web, and video conferencing, as well as for those using the Scopia video conferencing solution Avaya gained in the 2012 acquisition of Radvision.

Along with Equinox, Avaya also introduced an Android-based desktop device known as Avaya Vantage and unveiled advancements of a client SDK for the Avaya Breeze communications-enablement package.

Avaya customers have long faced daunting UX choices, including Avaya Communicator, Flare, one-X Mobile, one-X Communicator, and Scopia. By mid-December, all of these UX options will converge into the new Equinox client.

Also, until now, Avaya customers dealt with competing conferencing solutions -- Avaya Aura Conferencing (AAC) and the Scopia video conferencing solution. These will also converge into Equinox, in January 2017.

The Equinox specs show solid coverage of UC options:

  • The Equinox UC client will be available for Windows and Mac computers, for Android and iOS mobile devices, and in an HTML5 browser version for Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer. The browser versions utilize WebRTC to provide a "no software" desktop solution.
  • Equinox Conferencing converges the telephone and Web-based focus of AAC with the advanced video conferencing, large-scale meetings, and room-based features of Scopia. It seems that an enterprise can now meet its range of conferencing needs with this one conferencing platform. While Scopia was based on specialized hardware, Equinox can run either on that hardware or as software on virtual machines.

The UX software provides users with an experience that is most like the Scopia client, which has been the direction Avaya has hinted at since acquiring Radvision.

Equinox client features are clearly meant to compete with Cisco Spark, Unify Circuit and similar workstream collaboration products on the market (see related article, "Gartner: Big Changes Afoot for UC"). Equinox includes a dashboard-style home page and persistent multimedia messaging, synchronized across each user device.

Avaya Vantage

Avaya promotes the Vantage desktop device as "all-glass endpoint." Essentially, it has enhanced an Android tablet with an improved speaker and a desktop or wall-mount bracket option. The UX combines elements of Equinox that can be enhanced with applications and information using the Breeze Client SDK. Vantage, which lists at $429, is for use as a touch-screen speakerphone or with a wired ($39 list) or wireless ($119 list) handset.

As a consultant, I'm puzzled by the need for Vantage, since Equinox software can run on tablets, for which there are plenty of docking stations and Bluetooth audio device options on the market.

As for the third element of the announcement, the Breeze Client SDK includes functional capabilities expected by developers. Avaya emphasizes the ability to integrate communications with business processes in vertical industry contexts. The Client SDK becomes part of Avaya's developer suite, including Engagement Designer, to automate workflows, much as has been done for contact centers and IVR for some time. The Client SDK can incorporate the growing set of Avaya Snap-Ins, such as WebRTC, Mobile Video, Work Assignment, and more. Client SDK also can make use of, Avaya's communications platform-as-a- service offering.

The Equinox UX client, Vantage endpoint, and Client SDK all depend on the Avaya Aura Session Manager platform. Avaya will market Equinox as an element of the advanced Core Suite and Power Suite licensing, which will likely be acceptable for current Avaya telephony and may slightly expand Aura share of new purchase decisions. However, this will not position Avaya in the broader market for collaborative workspaces nor social software for the workplace, as has been discussed in many other No Jitter posts.

Finally, worth noting is Avaya's view of the market evolution from the "IT focus" of the "UC era" to the employee focus of the "mobile era" to the line-of-business (LOB) focus of the digital era. And Avaya is not alone in this perspective. Its description of the UC era as voice, video, text, and collaboration in a single app is exactly what the IP PBX vendors have been producing for the past 15 years -- but that approach has always seemed to miss the point. Enterprise communications has always been about LOB focus. What enterprise would willingly buy a product that does not improve their business processes and their organization's efficiency? We saw this at UCStrategies in 2006 with our definition of UC as "communications integrated to optimize business processes." Glad that Avaya is now endorsing that core value of UC.

In summary, it is really great to see this rationalization of the Avaya UX and conferencing offers. This will certainly be welcome to Avaya customers and is a positive move in the industry at large.


October 24, 2018

With disparate workplaces and ever-expanding volumes of information to manage, the challenges for collaborating effectively are only intensifying. Many critical applications are not integrated, and

October 10, 2018

Businesses are growing across international borders quicker than ever, but scaling operations to follow suit can be a harder, longer process.

This webinar focuses on scaling your next-generat

September 26, 2018

Join Kevin Kieller, Microsoft UC&C expert, along with Ribbon Communications and Polycom, for an update on Microsoft Ignite, and a focus on critical things you need to know about your voice deployme

March 12, 2018
An effective E-911 implementation doesn't just happen; it takes a solid strategy. Tune in for tips from IT expert Irwin Lazar, of Nemertes Research.
March 9, 2018
IT consultant Steve Leaden lays out the whys and how-tos of getting the green light for your convergence strategy.
March 7, 2018
In advance of his speech tech tutorial at EC18, communications analyst Jon Arnold explores what voice means in a post-PBX world.
February 28, 2018
Voice engagement isn't about a simple phone call any longer, but rather a conversational experience that crosses from one channel to the next, as Daniel Hong, a VP and research director with Forrester....
February 16, 2018
What trends and technologies should you be up on for your contact center? Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center & Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2018, gives us the lowdown.
February 9, 2018
Melanie Turek, VP of connected work research at Frost & Sullivan, walks us through key components -- and sticking points -- of customer-oriented digital transformation projects.
February 2, 2018
UC consultant Marty Parker has crunched lots of numbers evaluating UC options; tune in for what he's learned and tips for your own analysis.
January 26, 2018
Don't miss out on the fun! Organizer Alan Quayle shares details of his pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon, TADHack-mini '18, showcasing programmable communications.
December 20, 2017
Kevin Kieller, partner with enableUC, provides advice on how to move forward with your Skype for Business and Teams deployments.
December 20, 2017
Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst with ZK Research, shares his perspective on artificial intelligence and the future of team collaboration.
December 20, 2017
Delanda Coleman, Microsoft senior marketing manager, explains the Teams vision and shares use case examples.
November 30, 2017
With a ruling on the FCC's proposed order to dismantle the Open Internet Order expected this month, communications technology attorney Martha Buyer walks us through what's at stake.
October 23, 2017
Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
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.