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HP and Avaya partner for cloud-based UC services, CCaaS

HP and Avaya have announced a partnership for the delivery of cloud-based UC services, including contact center as a service offerings.

Avaya and HP have partnered to deliver cloud-based UC services, including unified communications as a service and contact center as a service, to enterprises. The partnership will combine HP's global data center infrastructure and Avaya's unified communications and collaboration software.

"HP is the only global outsourcer without a Cisco partnership, so they have the potential to be Avaya's biggest friend," said Eric Goodness, research vice president of Gartner, based in Stamford, Conn.

Delivering Avaya UC services on the HP cloud

HP's Enterprise Services (ES) unit and Avaya will be selling a combined portfolio of public cloud-based unified communications as a service (UCaaS) and contact center as a service (CCaaS) offerings, which are currently based on Avaya's existing technology.

While Avaya will still hold all sales contracts and service-level agreements, HP's public cloud infrastructure will help expand the Avaya-HP public cloud-based UC services to more business customers, including the midmarket and commercial customers, said Joe Manuele, vice president of global service providers, system integrators, alliances and cloud for Avaya.

"The idea is to build a much larger practice within HP ES's organization," Manuele said. "HP is so much larger and global in reach. … By leveraging their presence in 166 countries, it allows Avaya to say 'yes' to every customer that comes to the table."

Through the terms of the partnership, HP ES will handle the service delivery of Avaya Private Cloud Services (APCS) for large, global enterprise customers, and APCS will be integrated into HP's Mobility and Workplace and Business Process Services practices and partner ecosystem.

HP has a prior UC services partner in Microsoft, a competitor to Avaya. Microsoft Lync is a popular collaboration choice for enterprises, but many businesses aren't sold on Lync as a telephony replacement. Having Avaya as a partner with its telephony and contact center offerings strengthens what HP can offer their customers, said Rich Costello, senior research analyst for UC and enterprise communications infrastructure at IDC, based in Framingham, Mass.

"Avaya is now going to be a go-to vendor for contact center and voice offerings for HP, so if they have a Microsoft customer looking for [these] capabilities, there will be a good opportunity for Avaya there," Costello said.

"A lot of our customers want to coexist with Microsoft Lync for instant messaging and presence with Avaya's call control, so there is an opportunity there to do some really tight integration with Microsoft on the desktop," Avaya's Manuele said.

The partnership with HP will allow Avaya to not only reach new customers, but deepen its existing customer relationships, Manuele said. "For [customers that are only using] the CCaaS, they might be interested in [buying UCaaS] now, too," he said.

HP's relationship with an established UC player like Avaya fills a gap that was created when HP's strategic partnership with Cisco collapsed, Garter's Goodness said. "Working with a manufacturer of communication systems can help HP start to create a relationship like they used to have with Cisco, [which] gives HP a better vehicle to compete in larger outsourcing deals," he said.

HP/Avaya to jointly develop new features for UCaaS, CCaaS

The HP/Avaya partnership will allow the two vendors to work together toward the development of new UC and collaboration features for their combined UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, in addition to the expanding sales opportunities, Gartner's Goodness said.

"I think we'll start to see HP work with Avaya in the creation of really integrated service solutions such as cloud communications and contact center offerings that take advantage of software-defined networks," he said. "I think we'll see bundled solutions based on SIP architectures -- there are definitely some innovative things the two vendors will be able to do together."

Avaya has already alluded to new mobile applications, and opportunities to work on joint software and networking efforts related to the UC services. "On the contact center side, we are developing an agent that works on a Chromebook, instead of a PC, and leveraging the relationship that HP has with Google," Avaya's Manuele said.

Let us know what you think about the story; email Gina Narcisi, news writer, and follow @GeeNarcisi on Twitter.

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