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UC Week in Review: Partnerships Key in UC Space

January 22, 2010

As more and more companies learn about the many advantages unified communications, or UC, offers, many are entering the increasingly popular industry by forging partnerships to achieve common goals and to raise the visibility of their respective companies.

Take Siemens Enterprise Communications Group, a leading provider of unified communications solutions, and Polycom, Inc., a provider of telepresence, video and voice communications services, for example. The two companies this week announced a partnership and reseller deal under which customers can achieve cost savings and high productivity with Polycom’s telepresence and video conferencing solutions through an integration with the OpenSpace UC environment.
According to the companies, the partnership gives businesses that adopt the UC technologies the ability to deploy video solutions from Polycom and increase their collaboration and customer responsiveness while they cut conferencing costs and employee travel.
What’s more, under the global resale deal, SEN Group plans to offer Polycom's portfolio of visual communication solutions, including personal, room and immersive telepresence services, video conferencing systems, and desktop video collaboration applications, company officials said.
'Video communication is becoming a key component of UC, and helps to dramatically improve the productivity of our customers,' Mark Stone, chairman and CEO, the SEN Group, said in a statement. 'Working with Polycom enables us to deliver on our Open Communications commitment and enhance our leading OpenScape UC platform with a full range of UC-enabled video solutions.'
Beyond partnerships, come big-name companies are also looking for further integration to ramp up its UC offers. Avaya this week unveiled a roadmap outlining how it plans to integrate products and services from its recently acquired Nortel Enterprise Solutions deal with its product line. And just hours after that announcement, Avaya highlighted examples for analysts and media personnel to demonstrate how its customers can meet their goals under the merger.
Avaya addressed its roadmap for integration in detail at TMC’s ITEXPO East 2010, which concluded today in Miami.
“When we got together with the Nortel team to figure out what the integrated roadmap would look like we decided the best starting point was to provide some clarity on the shared future for real-time communication,” said Alan Baratz, senior vice president and president, global communications solutions, Avaya, during the conference call. “Both the Avaya team and the Nortel team had similar views on what this future would look like.”
As unified communications reported earlier Avaya Aura will be at the heart of Avaya’s contact center portfolio. With this foundation, contact centers will move to a SIP-based, service-oriented architecture, simultaneously supporting multiple modes of communication.
Rounding out the week, Verizon Business announced that it is expanding its suite of UC&C Consulting Services to help enterprise customers more effectively integrate unified communications and collaboration with their business processes.

According to the company,consultants from Verizon Business will collaborate with customers to define their objectives, assess their current infrastructure, look at possible investment areas where communications tools are needed, create user profiles to pinpoint areas of improvement and help organizations overcome other hurdles.
Check back from next week’s headlines on the UC industry. 

Amy Tierney is a Web editor for unified communications, covering business communications Her areas of focus include conferencing, SIP, Fax over IP, unified communications and telepresence. Amy also writes about education and healthcare technology, overseeing production of e-Newsletters on those topics as well as communications solutions and UC. To read more of Amy's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Amy Tierney

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