Avaya hits back: “We’re not stupid, we’re innovators”

By Dawinderpal Sahota
06 Apr 2011 View Comments
Businessman using Avaya's Flare tablet

Avaya has hit back at assertions from rival Alcatel-Lucent that its decision to develop tablet devices was a "big mistake".

During Alcatel's recent Dynamic Tour in Europe, Eric Penson, general manager for enterprise applications for Alcatel-Lucent, argued that the job of developing new devices for the market should be left to traditional device manufacturers, rather than networking vendors, and claimed that Avaya and Cisco's decisions to develop tablet devices was "stupid".

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However, in response, Avaya said it has developed its own hardware in order to accelerate adoption of its communications software in the enterprise, rather than to compete with traditional device manufacturers.

Nigel Moulton, head of product marketing for EMEA at Avaya, said that Alcatel-Lucent has misunderstood what Avaya's Flare solution actually represents; rather than the actual hardware device, the term Flare refers to the software suite that businesses can use on tablets. Avaya will be making the Flare software suite available on other Android tablets, and tablets that run on Apple's iOS, Windows and RIM's QNX operating system over the course of the year.

"Certainly for ourselves, and to an extent I suspect this is true of Cisco too, at the time we went to market with our devices, there was nothing else on the market that could cope with our software [and its integrated high definition video and audio]. Sometimes, true innovators have to do things that help accelerate the adoption of technology," said Moulton.

He added that now, however, some devices are suitable for enterprises and capable of running the Flare software suite.

"Alcatel-Lucent is talking about its own tablet strategy now, several months later. If they were true innovators, they'd have figured this out 18 months ago, so it actually shows how behind the curve they are," added Moulton.

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