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Avaya VoIP Linux Style to The SMB

LAS VEGAS -- Avaya is now targeting its Voice over IP efforts at the small- to midsized-business (SMB) market with a new series of Linux-powered initiatives.

The company's VoIP, messaging and contact center is now available in an on-demand service called Avaya On Demand. For those looking for a customer-premise solution, Avaya MultiVantage Express includes VoIP, messaging contact center and mobility.

And existing Avaya customers running the older DEFINITY ProLogix, IP600 or S8100 server can now upgrade to greater power and functionality via the Avaya S8400 Media Server.

Though Avaya is targeting its new solutions at companies of between 100 and 500 employees, that is not to say that they've simplified the apps in any way from their enterprise counterparts.

"Our goal is not to dumb down in terms of the richness of the application but they are dumbed down in the sense of being simplified of how you get access to them and how you deploy them," Lawrence Byrd, director of IP Telephony and Mobility at Avaya, told internetnews.com.

Part of the simplification from Avaya's point of view is the standardization that they have undertaken to have their solution powered by a common OS.

All of the new Avaya VoIP solutions are powered by Linux, which shouldn't be too much of a surprise considering that Avaya has had a Linux product-based roadmap for some time.

Byrd said customers don't see the operating system and they don't care. But they do like to know that it's an open standard and there are some cost benefits to that.

"Linux allows us to easily be on all sorts of server platforms, so that delivers the benefits of cost to the user," Byrd said. "We're not asking customers to get inside Linux and see it; it's all packaged up as an appliance."

"All of our platforms now from the highest end to the lowest end, to the blade servers powering our on demand are all running Linux."

Avaya's Linux adoption and its new midsized VoIP products are all part of a strategic decision that Avaya made nearly four years ago.

"We made the choice, and we made the choice many years ago back in 2002 that Linux would be a primary platform for running these applications," Byrd said.

The fact that Avaya solution have Linux inside may well help to introduce Avaya's new midsize customer target to Linux, though that's not the goal.

"Maybe the midsized business isn't otherwise using Linux and maybe this is an introduction to it for them, but they're not really seeing the operating system, they're just seeing the benefits of us packaging around the operating system," Byrd commented.