Avaya acquires Canadian solution provider to boost Aura

Avaya has turned to Richmond Hill, Ont.-based communications solution provider Esna Technologies Inc. to help the vendor enhance its Aura  and IP Office solutions. The Basking Ridge, N.J.-based networking and collaboration vendor acquired Esna for an undisclosed amount and plans to full integrate the entire team, intellectual property and research and development into Avaya.

One of the keys to this deal is Ensa’s Ilink for Scopia technology that enables users to communicate and collaborate inside a cloud-based application dramatically improving user workflow. Esna CEO and co-founder Mohammed Nezarati will report to Gary Barnett, senior vice president and GM for Avaya Engagement Solutions.

Craig Iwata, Avaya’s senior director of product management, told CDN that Esna is a channel partner of Avaya and the two companies have worked together on Aura and IP Office solutions. “We see the market increasingly move towards cloud-based apps. Avaya saw Esna as a leader in the embedded solutions space in business apps. Avaya is strong in the traditional big client apps and Esna would complement that with browser-based or headless client offering,” Iwata said.

Esna technology worked on unified communications (UC) platforms such as Google Apps, Jive and Salesforce.com. Esna does not have a UC platform instead preferring to work on top of other apps. The Avaya/Esna deal does have contingences built in to continue supporting other PBX integrations, Iwata said. And, in many cases inside larger enterprises there are mixed vendor environments, he added.

Iwata said that this deal will drive more sales to the installed base because there is an improved value proposition with Esna. “Channel partners will now have a strong reason to call existing customers and upgrade them. This allows business partners to change the discussion around UC or telephony to more of a line of business conversation. This will help the channel move to that C-level because of the value and provide a solution that’s more about business than just another UC platform sale,” he said.

Ensa has developed its own channel network sporting approximately 200 partners. Some of them are household names in Canada and the U.S. such as CDW Canada, Black Box Network Services, Carousel North America, Dimension Data Canada, Presidio Networks, Touchbase and World Wide Technology Inc.

The plan with Esna in the fold will be to integrate those channel partners into Avaya. Iwata said that 36 Esna partners are currently Avaya partners as well. No decision has been made on the future of the Esna Partner Program, but Iwata added that those partners can continue to sell as they did before the acquisition.

“We are looking at this acquisition as strength for Avaya towards browser-based or headless client area. From a customer perspective people today like to work using these browser-based apps. We see that more everyday with Office 365, Salesforce.com and Jive. The workflow is different than traditional premise-based apps and people do not like switching back and forth and would rather work directly inside the app. It leads to better workflow,” Iwata said.

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Paolo Del Nibletto
Paolo Del Nibletto
Former editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.

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