Avaya has launched a product which can de-couple applications from companies’ networks, so users can simplify their communications even if they have equipment from multiple vendors
Network giant Avaya has launched a product which uses the SIP telephony protocols to make a neutral layer across enterprise networks, so companies can run applications across multiple vendors’ communications equipment .
The new Avaya Aura architecture, an upgrade to Avaya’s existing products, creates a “orchestration layer” in the network based on SIP – the session initiation protocol standard. “We can eliminate all the complexity of large multivendor IP networks, and let SIP take over the centralised management of applications and devices,” said Jirina Yates, Avaya’s marketing director for EMEA. “It will enable you to consolidate your network.”
“This will revolutionise enterprise communications,” said Yates. “Because it separates the applications form the infrastructure, and brings carrier-grade SIP into the enterprise, it lets the business become a service provider for its users.”
Tactics like least-cost routing, where calls are made using the corporate IP network and use the public phone network only when necessary have been costly and complex to implement, but would become easier using Aura, she said.
“The immediate and radical benefit is cost-savings,” she said. “You can consolidate the network, connecting your legacy estate – as long as it speaks SIP – without having to replace it.” This will allow companies to implement one-dial plans, without the complexity of administering many different PBXs, she said. “Least-cost routing has been too much of a drain in IT resources, and has been perceived as not worth doing,” she said. “Now it can have a payback time within a budget year.”
Operators themselves are pursuing a similar strategy she said, decoupling IP applications from the network – in their case using the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS). In Avaya Aura, the layer is provided by a session manager program, which will be included with Avaya products.
Skype adopted SIP earlier this month, demonstrating the protocol’s popularity, said Yates. Skype’s new beta software allows the Skype client to connect to corporate PBXs, and would allow Avaya’s Aura to support Skype as an application on a corporate network.
Avaya’s main rivals in unified communications, Nortel and Siemens, both upgraded their products this month, but the changes amount to adding features to their own products, said Yates.
“We are the first to separate applications from infrastructure,” said Yates. “The first customers will be large companies as this can extend to 250,000 users on 25,000 sites.” It could also work for smaller companies, and service providers could use it to deliver applications too, she said.