The managing director of Avaya's Australian division has thrown down the gauntlet to rivals like Cisco, claiming his company has no competition when it comes to the next generation of unified communications solutions.
The company is this week launching its Flare Experience family of unified computing devices and software in Australia, including a much-hyped integrated tablet device that allows customers to place video calls in high definition and access the corporate directory and other data.
"My view on this, is that we are so far ahead of our competitors in this experience that we don't have any at the moment, and they're going to take quite a long time to catch up," claimed the Avaya's local chief Rob Wells.
"Years of R&D have gone into bringing this experience together, and the competitive approach to this is a much clunkier user experience and that inhibits the deployment of unified communications," he said.
Avaya arch-rival Cisco unveiled its own HD tablet, dubbed the Cius, in late June, saying it would extend the productivity benefits of the company's own unified communications suite into the mobile space. And Dell is getting into the business as well. The company is speaking to mobile operators in Australia about bringing its smaller Dell Streak tablet down under.
"Yes, there are people that have tablets," said Wells. "This isn't about the tablet, this is about the experience; it's a completely different approach to the whole thing."
The executive said Avaya had started showing Flare to partners in January this year, as well as key customers in recent months. He couldn't say which customers had been interested so far, but he claimed Avaya already had orders for the package.
The Flare Experience system adds a number of innovations to Avaya's kit through the company's tablet including a new "touch and swipe" user interface, drag-and-drop voice and video calling, and the ability to separate from a conference call for interactions with the software's sidebar functions (voice, email or instant messaging, for example) and then rejoin without interrupting the call in progress, a virtual "Rolodex" that provides a single view of multiple directories and the ability to use popular Android applications.
"The Avaya Flare Experience is initially sold with the Avaya Desktop Video Device, but will soon be made available for other environments, including PCs, laptops, tablet PCs and smartphones," the company said in a statement today. "The Avaya Flare Experience leverages the Avaya Aura 6.0 solutions announced in July, including Avaya Aura Conferencing and Avaya Aura Messaging."
Some of Avaya's largest Australian customers include St George Bank, Macquarie University and the Australian Federal Police. Avaya's tablet has a list price of $3750 in Australia.