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PHOENIX -- Avaya hopes its recently announced partnership with RingCentral will one day extend beyond unified communications.
With that in mind, Avaya plans to launch this year a multitenant contact center as a service (CCaaS) platform that the company would like RingCentral to someday bundle with its flagship telephony platform. If that happens, then RingCentral could brand the product as its own.
For now, however, the new Avaya IX-CC will use public APIs and standards to integrate with Avaya Cloud Office by RingCentral. The latter is a new Avaya-branded offering based on RingCentral's business communications suite.
"Over time, we think that there's a real opportunity for us to earn their business like they did ours," said Hardy Myers, Avaya's senior vice president of strategy and business development.
Avaya will also push for deeper integration between the CCaaS product and Avaya Cloud Office. But it's too early to say whether Avaya's ambitions will come to fruition, given that its CCaaS product remains in development.
RingCentral currently partners with Nice InContact to provide a RingCentral-branded contact center to customers. RingCentral has enhanced the offering with technology from its acquisition of the cloud startups Dimelo and Connect First.
Avaya plans to launch a voice-only version of IX-CC by mid-2020. It expects to expand the product to include a full range of customer communication channels, such as chat, by the end of the year.
Businesses are increasingly looking to buy UC and contact center technologies from a single vendor. Doing so simplifies billing and support. Also, integrations between UC and contact center make it easier for customer service agents to communicate with colleagues in other parts of the organization.
Resideo, a roughly 15,000-person manufacturer of home appliances, is looking to ditch a mix of on-premises products from Avaya and Cisco. Instead, it wants a public cloud suite with tight integration between UC and contact center.
Chris White, contact center technology manager for Resideo, was hoping to learn more about Avaya's upcoming CCaaS product at Avaya Engage, the vendor's annual user conference taking place this week.
"I want one solution everywhere," White said.
CCaaS is the last significant hole in Avaya's portfolio. The vendor already has private cloud offerings for UC and contact center. On March 31, it expects to also have Avaya Cloud Office by RingCentral, a unified communications as a service (UCaaS) product.
Avaya runs IX-CC on Microsoft Azure. The vendor developed the product in-house based on a multitenant architecture. However, Avaya executives said the company would also accommodate larger customers that wanted a separate instance of the technology hosted in the public cloud.
Avaya opted to partner with RingCentral on UCaaS in part so that it could devote more resources to CCaaS. That was probably a smart move, given that vendors have a better opportunity to make their CCaaS products stand out from the competition, analysts said.
"In CCaaS, you really can differentiate yourself," said Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst at ZK Research. "There's a lot more value in building your own and customizing it."