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Avaya sets sights on datacentre managers

Avaya's top executives have acknowledged that they have had trouble reaching IT datacentre managers and executives at corporations to make important sales.

The challenge facing Avaya, a voice-equipment supplier, comes largely from Cisco Systems, said Don Peterson, Avaya chief executive officer and chairman.

Cisco sells pure IP voice products, has an installed base of data switches and routers within IT organisations, and already has the ear of the data managers who control the IT spending purse strings, he said. 

Peterson said Avaya has been able to reach the managers in charge of voice systems, though they often are not in the same group as the datacentre managers.

Avaya sells products which include IP telephony equipment, but it also relies on traditional circuit-switched technology, known as time division multiplexing (TDM). Avaya is in a camp of several suppliers which sell hybrid systems of TDM and IP. Cisco sells pure IP. 

He vowed to find more ways to bring the Avaya message to datacentre managers.

"We're going to fight it out tooth and nail," he said. 

Avaya sold more than 25% of all voice-switching products in the US last year, leading all other suppliers, including Cisco, which sold more than 10%. Nortel Networks was second, with more than 20% of sales, according to TEQConsult Group.

Matt Hamblen writes for Computerworld


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