Avaya has made interoperability with heritage Nortel equipment, and the integration of its enterprise channel partners, a key element of the latest version 7.0 of its SMB IP Office suite, which was released yesterday.
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The comms vendor, which bought Nortel's enterprise business 18 months ago, said the ability to run Nortel IP and digital phones in IP Office environments could potentially bring up to 14 million users to Avaya kit, and drive between 40 and 60 per cent in savings for customers.
Lee Shorten, Avaya UK managing director, told MicroScope: "This is the point at which the Nortel channel gets to monitise us and really embrace the portfolio."
Avaya worldwide channel vice president Jeremy Butt said both partners and customers had been asking for a cheaper upgrade path.
"We're just about on schedule brining the Nortel and Avaya products together," he said. "And this combination at last gives us a more complete and rounded picture."
Added Butt: "A lot of people thought we would throw the blue stuff away and keep the red, but we've kept the best of both worlds and ended up with purple. We never wanted to orphan Nortel customers or disenfranchise their resellers."
The new technology also has a heavy emphasis on mobility and apps for mobile and tablet platforms, including an iPad app for end-user and channel sales training, which Paul Blundell, director of Avaya partner iQual, said would be the "biggest battleground" for the channel in the near future.
"Customers really start getting interested when we show IP Office working on a Blackberry or iPhone," he said.