Connecting Avaya to the World of Cloud Applications

Today is a big day for Esna. After 25 years, we embark on a new phase of our journey. We’re excited to be joining the Avaya family, as announced earlier today.

This deal makes so much sense for both companies. Avaya is a powerhouse in business engagement and communications solutions and has the largest installed base of customers in the market today. Esna has been an Avaya DevConnect Technology Partner for more than 10 years, and that partnership has resulted in a number of high-value solutions for Avaya customers.

From developing the first software-based unified communications solution in 1992 to its latest innovation embedding communication and collaboration capability inside cloud-based applications, Esna has pioneered award-winning communication and collaboration solutions that connect people, process and information to get work done.

Today, the company embeds these communication tools inside the business applications people use every day. That means busy professionals no longer need to use multiple applications to communicate and connect with colleagues, customers and partners.

Esna solutions seamlessly connect Avaya voice and mobile networks with cloud-based business solutions such as Google™ Apps, Salesforce.com®, Microsoft® Office 365 and Jive Software.

A shared culture of excellence

Delivering exceptional customer engagement has always been Esna’s North Star and our development team strives to deliver innovation and the kind of elegant application development and design that makes collaborating easy.

Avaya has always had exceptional engineering capability and expertise in PBX and network infrastructure—they are the best on the planet in this domain. Avaya has a deep desire to deliver superior products and services for their customers around the world.

As we come together and unite our distinct capabilities, we will develop and offer amazing products that support better, stronger collaboration and communication in the enterprise and that interoperate with multiple platforms.

A history of working together for customer success

One joint customer of Esna and Avaya—Serena Software—provides a great example of how the two companies already have a history of working together to deliver value to customers, both immediately and over the long term.

Serena Software wanted to shift more than 800 users on their Avaya® on-premise solution (using Microsoft® Exchange) to a cloud-based, Google™ Apps email and calendaring solution while maintaining their Avaya UC capability. Esna Officelinx offered a seamless way to make that connection and, a year later, when Serena wanted to move again—this time to a hosted Microsoft BPOS suite—Esna was able to help them make the switch, while keeping them on their Avaya platform and delivering a migration that was completely transparent to end users.

I see so much opportunity ahead for us, working together to extend and enhance capability across Avaya’s customer base, and bringing new customers to the Avaya ecosystem. We look forward to innovating together and building the kind of robust, world-class communication and collaboration solutions the market is demanding!

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Embedded Communications Key to Changing the Way We Work (and Live)

Employees need to get their work done by the best means possible for optimal productivity, which requires access to the most effective tools available to do so.

In my opinion, this toolset must include an embedded communications solution. Such a solution, like Avaya Communicator for Web, enables users to tap into information that is readily available across multiple disparate sources—sources that are individually helpful but collectively transformative—to work faster, more efficiently and smarter.

Embedded communication isn’t just a nice-to-have, it’s a must-have–both inside and outside of the enterprise. Why? At the end of the day, the way we live relies on the availability and integration of information and data around us. It’s everywhere we are and in everything we do.

Imagine you’re planning a road trip for next month. You own an electric car, and so it would be especially convenient if you could pinpoint the locations of charging stations along your way, to ensure as seamless and efficient a trip as possible (no one likes to back track). Picture your smartphone automatically creating a best-case route for your trip by leveraging the data available on your device, including places to sleep, eat, charge up and more.

Similar to how such a data-driven plan would enable you to travel most efficiently, an embedded communications solution can help employees get their work done as proficiently as possible. Such technology dramatically increases the time that people have to devote to work, as well as the quality of work that is produced, by streamlining various meetings, activities, tasks and more.

For instance, as GM and VP for UC Applications at Avaya, I spend the majority of my day in meeting and phone calls, processing a high volume of information–some of which can be difficult to recall after the fact. This is a massive problem within the enterprise today. Employees must be able to follow up on meetings and keep track of what was said; otherwise, similar to our road trip scenario, they will feel like they are backtracking.

Envision instead that you could integrate the various types of communication solutions your team uses (e.g., instant messaging, video, office suites) so that meeting notes can be added in real-time for employees to get caught up on. With employees being better equipped and prepared for meetings (something that can consume a hefty portion of meetings today) a traditional one-hour meeting can easily become a 30-minute meeting, and a 30-minute meeting might just become a quick IM or phone call.

Hopefully, more organizations will understand the power and value that embedded communications offer both inside and outside of the enterprise today—enough to not only change the way we work, but the way we live.

Dreamforce 2015 Preview: Key Trends to Watch For

Dreamforce 2015 starts Tuesday, and there’s so much to discuss about this highly-anticipated event. This year’s show looks bigger and better than ever, with a notably impressive lineup of keynote speakers that includes Jessica Alba, actress and founder of The Honest Company; Goldie Hawn, actress and founder of The Hawn Foundation; and Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s recently appointed CEO, who I’m personally very interested to hear from, as he has been leading innovation at the company since taking over in early 2014.

As we count down the days to Dreamforce 2015, taking place September 15-18 in San Francisco, I become all the more eager to see the impact of  two huge trends that I expect to dominate breakout sessions, keynotes and conversations during downtime:

Integrating multiple applications into one: By enabling connectors among multiple different applications, users seamlessly acquire content from disparate applications through a single, easily-accessible interface. The goal here is to significantly enhance the day-to-day user experience by making it that much more immersive. We are seeing more organizations coming to the forefront with efforts to strengthen connectivity among the various environments where their employees live and work. This has been very exciting to see, and I look forward to the impact of the topic at this year’s event.

Multi-vendor/vendor-agnostic collaboration: This seems to be a trend that is rapidly growing within the enterprise, one which I am certainly pleased to witness. Empowering various working teams with real-time communications—regardless of the vendor that supports the equipment or infrastructure they use—is not only unbelievably useful, but truly transformative. This ability to connect in real-time across virtually every vendor environment is what we at Avaya believe to be the next generation of connectivity, enabling enterprise users to spark new connections, initiatives and deals immediately, in order to improve and sustain business like never before.

Salesforce has been working to make headway in this arena. For instance, Salesforce Chatter, the company’s free enterprise social network platform, enables employees to create Chatter sessions to begin communicating about projects and opportunities in real time, regardless of what infrastructure or other tools they may be using. I’m curious to see what other moves Salesforce intends to make to strengthen multi-vendor enterprise collaboration.

Whether you’re looking to hear key insights from disruptive industry leaders or hear tunes from this year’s featured band, the Foo Fighters, I hope to see you at this year’s Dreamforce 2015 event. If you’re on the show floor, visit us at booth #W841, Moscone West.

Avaya Communicator for Web Communication-Enables Your Cloud-Based Business Applications

At this week’s International Avaya User Group CONVERGE2015 conference, we’re excited to debut Avaya Communicator for Web. Avaya Communicator for Web embeds real-time communication and collaboration tools inside the cloud-based business applications that people use every day.

With it, users are able to communicate with others without having to leave the application they’re working in. It embeds voice, video, IM/presence, and conferencing within cloud applications such as Salesforce.com, Google Apps, Office 365 and others using either Chrome or Internet Explorer browsers.

Avaya Communicator for Web

We know that today’s busy professionals live and work in the browser. And increasingly, companies are moving their core business applications to the cloud. This gives us an opportunity to make these cloud-based apps even more valuable by embedding communication functions inside them.

According to industry analyst Marty Parker, of UniComm Consulting, this is a clear and growing trend. He notes that, “Users want their communications to be build right into the applications they are using.”

So that’s what we’ve done. With Avaya Communicator for Web, we make it easy to collaborate with individuals or groups of people over video, IM, or calls, from right where you are working, and it keeps your conversation going through persistent communications capability.

This new, modern communications experience puts the needs of the user first. The Avaya Communicator for Web user experience is clean, simple and easy to use, and it makes the product’s extensive functions intuitive for users.

Avaya Communicator for Web will initially be available with Avaya IP Office. You can find more information on Avaya Communicator for Web here.