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Avaya's dirty little networking secret uncovered

15 Jul 15

Avaya is one of those interesting vendors that has a very strong legacy that we all know them for.

Like Xerox means photocopies; Avaya for most of us in the industry means phone systems. Those massive solutions that run corporate telephony infrastructure. Avaya is exceptionally successful with government and enterprise organisations in New Zealand. A number of the key contact centres use their solutions.

In recent years this advanced telephony product range has been complemented by a strong move into unified communications and video conferencing.

One of the less understood parts of the business is its Network Solutions product range.

It obviously makes real sense for a phone system manufacturer to be in the networking business as almost all telephony services inside a business are run over IP and generally Ethernet these days.

However, the Network Solutions business doesn’t stop at just infrastructure for phones, it provides a full range of ethernet switches, wireless access points and video surveillance products.

The products have also been road tested in some serious situations. The most recent Olympics in Sochi ran almost entirely on phone and networking infrastructure from Avaya. This is more impressive given that this is probably the first Olympics held in this modern age of mass smartphone usage and the internet of things.

Even within the range of Ethernet switches they’ve got solutions for branch offices right up to core data centre top of rack type devices. They’ve got a tick in the SDN box and also have some proprietary technology around fabric networking.

Within the Wi-Fi range they have a joint venture with Zirrus which has developed clever wireless access points that don’t need controllers and are centrally managed from a cloud system.

Eighteen months ago Martin Claridge moved into the role of director for Network Solutions across Australia and New Zealand. In that time he’s overseen the network business double in size and brought on a raft of new partners.

Locally that includes strengthening their long-standing relationship with system integrator Agile, in mid 2014 bringing on Datacom Wellington and earlier this year Vodafone to spearhead the video surveillance push in New Zealand for them.

Claridge made it clear that he and his team are determined to continue to grow market share and win business in New Zealand.

The challenge will be whether his networking and video products can emerge from under the shadow of Avaya’s telephony focused reputation.

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