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Why This Developer Thinks Avaya Aura Collaboration Environment Rocks (And Rocks over WebRTC)

Developer platforms are a lot like breakfast cereals: there’s no shortage of them, each claiming to be tastier and better for you – in developer jargon, that would be “slicker user interface” and “more users” – than the next one.
So I understand if your first reaction upon hearing the announcement of the Avaya Aura Collaboration Environment this week was to think to yourself, “Yippee! Another platform,” before looking back down at the WebRTC app you were building.
I think you should take a long look at all of the hard benefits Avaya Aura Collaboration Environment can offer to developers and enterprises building business communications apps. But don’t take my word for it. 
Davide Petramala Esna small.jpg
Davide Petramala is executive vice-president of Esna Technologies Inc., the Ontario, Canada developer of the popular cloud-enabled Esna Officelinx communications and collaboration platform, which has millions of users worldwide.
 
Esna has been one of the Avaya DevConnect partners working with Avaya Aura Collaboration Environment for the past several months. I’ll share the thoughts of Jeff Thompson, CEO of another Aura Collaboration Environment beta tester, User Events, in a coming blog. 
Avaya Aura Collaboration Environment is a middleware platform that helps developers accelerate building or connecting their apps to the Avaya Aura stack of unified communications and contact center software. When it is rolled out officially later this year, the platform will give developers quick and easy access to tens of millions of users worldwide.
Esna’s developers, who used Aura Collaboration Environment to bring Officelinx to Avaya Aura, are already enjoying huge benefits.
“Avaya Aura Collaboration Environment simplifies things by letting us plug directly into Avaya’s entire set of voice, video and other communication services without any major overhead,” Petramala says. “Where we once had to deal with multiple versions of APIs and products, we can now communicate directly to Avaya Aura Collaboration Environment. This accelerates our development and simplifies the deployment of our solutions.” 
Technical – and Business – Boons
When time = money, accelerating development time is key. But Aura Collaboration Environment’s capabilities also allow Esna and Avaya’s joint customers to “future proof” their Avaya investments.   More and more organizations are moving their core processes and applications like email and CRM to the cloud. As a result they also want the ability to communicate and collaborate directly from cloud based applications like Google Gmail and Salesforce.com.  Through Esna and the Aura Collaboration Environment they can do just that.
Leveraging Aura Collaboration Environment, Esna integrates live communications capabilities like video, voice and IM inside cloud applications. “People want the ability to communicate and collaborate with others regardless of the applications they are working in or the devices they are on,” says Petramala. “By conveniently weaving together communication tools with productivity apps, information workers are not only more productive, they’re happier.” 
“Avaya has the largest telephony customer base today and makes up almost half of our customers,” says Petramala. “With the Aura Collaboration Environment we are better able to address the ever changing communication needs of our joint customers.” 
As with any new platform, Aura Collaboration Environment does have a learning curve. But “for our developers who are experienced with the cloud and Web services, the Aura Collaboration Environment was pretty easy to grasp and understand,” Petramala says.
But what about WebRTC? 
WebRTC has plenty of promise, enabling developers to easily build client apps that mix multiple modes of communication – voice, messaging, video, and more – inside a Web browser. 
But I’d argue that it’s naive to believe that most enterprises will be dumping their existing communications and contact center applications anytime soon. They’ve invested too much money and time in making their sophisticated servers rock-solid, smooth and secure. As a result, WebRTC apps will likely still need a gateway into enterprise communications apps and servers for years to come.
That’s what Avaya Aura Collaboration Environment can provide. Petramala agrees. Aura Collaboration Environment allows Esna’s developers to “access WebRTC services without having to become WebRTC experts,” he says. Simply put, Aura Collaboration Environment and WebRTC “are not competitive,” Petramala concludes. “They are complementary.”
Intrigued? Contact DevConnect@Avaya.com if you want to get more details about the Avaya Aura Collaboration Environment.http://www.esna.com/products/officelinx/index.htm

Eric Lai is the former Editorial Director at Avaya. He joined Avaya in Nov 2012 from SAP, where his enterprise mobility blog attracted more than 100,000 readers a month and was awarded Top Corporate Blog by BtoB Magazine. Prior to SAP, Eric was a technology editor and reporter for a decade and a half in Asia and the U.S. Follow him on Twitter @ericylai. more

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