Friday, February 27, 2004

Avaya gives corporate IM a SIP of VoIP | CNET

Avaya gives corporate IM a SIP of VoIP | CNET "The maker of corporate telephone equipment recently began selling gear using Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), a standard supporting many popular Internet telephone, videophone and instant messaging services. As a result, Avaya's latest line of equipment provides IM features like 'presence,' which indicates whether a user is on the phone, what his or her future availability is, and the best way to contact the user, Avaya convergence strategist Lawrence Byrd said in a recent interview.
This is not your standard IM, by any means. The Avaya gear, for instance, lets someone make calls to landline phones from any Internet-enabled laptop or personal digital assistant or dial a phone number listed on a Web site simply by clicking on it. 'Someone can be using IM to reach someone, then turning that text chat into a phone conversation, then conferencing-in an associate tracked down using a presence feature to join in on the conference call,' Byrd said."
But the high price tag for corporate SIP-based services is a problem, analysts say. Avaya, for example, is charging corporations a one-time $25 per user fee for its Converged Communications Server software, $6,100 for a necessary server and $130 per user for a "softphone" for laptops or personal digital assistants. A 3,500 person company, then, would pay about $500,000 to give everyone SIP's capabilities, which could be too much for some companies to make the leap.

SAD: It's a great play, minus the pricing mismatch moving from HW to SW, and will accelerate an already excited market for presence-based services. The level of sophistication that will follow-on from here will be quite astounding. At one point, "collaboration" used to be about documents (email, discussion database, etc.) but now communication systems will be center stage for a while.

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