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Avaya and Skype Sign Strategic Agreement for Business Communications and Collaboration Solutions

Agreement includes plans for industry-first federation between Avaya and Skype communication platforms

For Immediate Release:29 Sep 2010


BASKING RIDGE, N.J. and LUXEMBOURG – Avaya, a global leader in enterprise communications systems, software and services, and Skype today announced a strategic agreement to deliver innovative, real-time communications and collaboration solutions to businesses of all sizes. The multi-phase deal includes both go-to-market and an industry-first, joint technology integration that seeks to enable businesses to lower costs and expand how employees, customers, partners and suppliers communicate and collaborate with greater convenience and efficiency.
In the first phase of the agreement, Avaya customers in the U.S. market will have access to Skype Connect™, a product which adds Skype calling to IP-based enterprise communications systems, providing a Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) communications channel between Avaya communications systems and Skype. Customers with Avaya Aura™ Session Manager or Avaya Aura SIP Enablement Server, CS1000, Avaya IP Office, or BCM systems can use Skype Connect to place calls globally for increased reach, while aiming to save on international calling. Enterprise-level security and features such as tracking, recording, regulatory compliance, and more are provided by the Avaya system.
Skype reported 124 million average monthly connected users during the second quarter of 2010. Now, Skype users can make inbound calls to Avaya customers in the U.S. market for free or at a low cost. Calls will be treated with Avaya's routing, conferencing, messaging, mobility and contact center capabilities, as well as other collaboration services. For example, businesses can:
  • Establish Skype Click & Call buttons for inbound calling from Web sites
  • Establish Skype Online Numbers for inbound calling from landline and mobile phones
  • Route inbound calls from a Skype user to an enterprise extension

Avaya customers in the U.S. market who are interested in Skype Connect can speak with their Avaya sales representative or an Avaya Connect channel partner contacts beginning in October.
In the second half of 2011, Avaya and Skype plan to deliver integrated unified communications and collaboration solutions for enterprises within the U.S. The integration is intended to establish federation between Avaya Aura and Skype communications platforms and both user communities, so that an Avaya end-user and Skype user can engage and interact via presence, instant messaging, voice and video. A business, for example, could use Skype to access an Avaya-based contact center in a simple and highly integrated way to quickly and efficiently resolve customer service issues. The integrated solutions will also allow enterprise IT managers to manage and control the inter-connectivity between end users to meet their corporate IT policies.
"Avaya and Skype have been working along parallel paths to offer, innovative, scalable, low cost, SIP-based communications to our respective markets," said Alan Baratz, senior vice president, Avaya and president, Avaya Global Communications Solutions. "Now, the two companies will work together, striving to improve collaboration and customer service by federating Avaya and Skype solutions for a common user experience that delivers unique benefits for businesses and their customers who are Skype users."
"Our relationship with Avaya is expected to expand the footprint for Skype Connect into more enterprises in the U.S. market, while allowing us to help Avaya's customers benefit from Skype's cost savings and access to Skype's global user base,” said David Gurlé, vice president and general manager of Skype for Business. "We believe our integrated solution in the second half of 2011 is expected to offer the benefits of Skype to a growing number of businesses and open up new ways for people to communicate and collaborate."

Note to Editors: Avaya and Skype are hosting a Conference Call today at 11 am ET. Listeners may join by calling (866) 836-0931 in the U.S. or (706) 758-4186 for International callers.  A replay will be available after the call for 30 days by dialing (800) 642-1687 or (706) 645-9291 and using Conference ID # 13591571. 
About Avaya

Avaya is a global leader in enterprise communications systems. The company provides unified communications, contact centers, data solutions, and related services directly and through its channel partners to leading businesses and organizations around the world. Enterprises of all sizes depend on Avaya for state-of-the-art communications that improve efficiency, collaboration, customer service and competitiveness. For more information please visit www.avaya.com.
About Skype

Skype is a software-based communications platform that offers high-quality, easy-to-use tools for both consumers and businesses to communicate and collaborate globally through voice, video and text conversations. Founded in 2003 and based in Luxembourg, our mission is to be the communications platform of choice around the world. We enable users with virtually any Internet-connected device to communicate with each other by voice, video and instant message for free, or make low cost voice calls to fixed or mobile numbers virtually anywhere in the world. We had 124 million average monthly connected users for the three months ended June 30, 2010 and our users placed 95 billion calling minutes over Skype in the first half of 2010, approximately 40% of which were video. Skype can be downloaded onto computers, mobile phones and other connected devices for free at www.skype.com.
Access to a broadband Internet connection is required. Skype is not a replacement for traditional telephone service and cannot be used for emergency calling. Skype Connect is meant to complement existing traditional telephone services used with a corporate PBX, not as a stand-alone solution. Skype Connect users need to ensure all calls to emergency services are terminated through traditional telephone services.
Skype, associated trademarks and logos and the “S” symbol are trademarks of Skype Limited.
Certain statements contained in this press release are forward-looking statements. These statements may be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “might,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “should” or “will” or other similar terminology. We have based these forward-looking statements on our current expectations, assumptions, estimates and projections. While we believe these expectations, assumptions, estimates and projections are reasonable, such forward looking statements are only predictions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control. These and other important factors may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Some of the key factors that could cause actual results to differ from our expectations include: our ability to develop and sell advanced communications products and services, including unified communications, contact center and data solutions; our ability to develop our indirect sales channel; economic conditions and the willingness of enterprises to make capital investments; the market for advanced communications products and services, including unified communications solutions; our ability to remain competitive in the markets we serve; our ability to manage our supply chain and logistics functions; the ability to protect our intellectual property and avoid claims of infringement; our ability to effectively integrate acquired businesses into ours; our ability to maintain adequate security over our information systems; environmental, health and safety laws, regulations, costs and other liabilities; the ability to retain and attract key employees; risks relating to the transaction of business internationally; pension and post-retirement healthcare and life insurance liabilities; and liquidity and our access to capital markets. We caution you that the foregoing list of important factors may not contain all of the material factors that are important to you. For a further list and description of such risks and uncertainties, please refer to Avaya’s filings with the SEC that are available at www.sec.gov. Avaya disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.