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Avaya looks to networking in next hardware phaseout

InfrastructureSoftware

San Diego, CA – Avaya wants to get out of the hardware business.

At its annual Executive Partner Forum, the unified communication (UC) provider talked everything from segmentation to moving into a services model, from programmatic changes to to surveillance.

But the company has, perhaps, buried the headline.

Speaking with CDN, Laurent Philonenko, Avaya’s chief technology officer laid out plans for its next hardware phaseout, namely networking.

“We are going to separate hardware from software in networking,” Philonenko said. “You’re going to be able to buy the software from Avaya, and go buy the hardware from somebody else.”

Admittedly, Avaya has been on this path for a long time.

The current release of its Aura communication management software has already replaced hardware-based gateways with soft ones. Its solutions also make use of soft phones and commoditized servers.

However, networking, which is one of several key specializations the company is asking the channel to home in on, will see this sort of “uncoupling” as early as this summer.

“We’ve become an application enablement engine,” Pierre-Paul Allard, vice president of worldwide sales said earlier in the day in his keynote, referring to Avaya’s software infrastructure. “Everything else is just resources.”

The challenge, however, is convincing the channel to make the switch.

Avaya’s desire to move companies away from legacy hardware to software-defined networking (SDN) is especially pronounced in Canada, where companies continue to rely on hardware from Nortel, which Avaya purchased back in 2009. In fact, “modernisation of the base” is one key pillar of a new channel program that the company is readying for launch in April.

“We have not done a good job of [getting partners to make the switch],” Philonenko said. “Part of it was a lack of cool intelligence and marketing. This is something we need to change.”

Stay tuned to CDN for more coverage of Avaya’s Executive Partner Forum 2016.