Avaya buys mobile software company in $15M deal

It's also reorganizing its unified communications software

Avaya Inc. last week said it has acquired Traverse Networks in Fremont, Calif., for $15 million in a deal that gives it software for managing applications and voice mail on mobile devices.

The Traverse software allows users to see and hear office voice mail through an e-mail-like in-box in a mobile device so they can sort through various messages to find important ones, said Eileen Rudden, vice president of unified communications at Avaya. The software reduces the need to dial a number for access, simplifying the voice-mail retrieval process.

Basking Ridge, N.J.-based Avaya also announced a family of four product groups for unified communications software. A customer will be able to pick a group of applications that can save them an average of 30% over the cost of buying the applications individually, Rudden said.

The four groupings build upon one another, starting with Unified Communications Essential Edition, which is intended for office users needing advanced IP telephony, voice mail and basic conferencing capability. The next level up, Unified Communications Standard Edition, adds advanced mobility tools from Traverse to take applications to users' mobile devices. The third level up is Unified Communications Advanced Edition, which adds conferencing for teams larger than six people and whiteboarding. The top tier, Unified Communications Professional Edition, adds video communications and speech-recognition software, including videoconferencing and voice-driven access to messages and other applications.

The top tier might be used by the highest-level employees in an organization, Rudden said.

The various editions will be available in the first half of 2007, Rudden said. List pricing per user is $340 for Essential, $660 for Standard, $786 for Advanced and $976 for Professional.

Brent Kelly, an analyst at Wainhouse Research LLC, said the four groupings of software help organize an array of products that clarifies what customers will get. The move follows Avaya's steps to organize its unified communications software under a single director and follows efforts by Cisco Systems Inc. and Microsoft Corp. to market a separate category of unified communications products, he said.

Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

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