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Avaya Converges on Spectel

Looking to bolster its IP communications software stack, networking gear provider Avaya agreed to purchase audio conferencing specialist Spectel for $103 million in cash.

Avaya, of Basking Ridge, N.J., said it expects to close the purchase of the Dublin, Ire.-based Spectel within 60 days. Spectel, which has offices stateside in Andover, Mass., has 210 employees and serves more than 500 customers worldwide.

Spectel offers on-premise, managed on-premise and service-provider packages, including applications for advanced services, such as integration with other productivity software suites and wireless capabilities. Moreover, Spectel's software is based on industry standards, which means they may easily integrate with systems from a variety of vendors.

Avaya spokeswoman Mary Thiele said Spectel's leadership position in the audio conferencing space made it the first choice. It also helped that Avaya has resold Spectel's technology for more than four years and has used the software in its own operations.

Avaya will bundle Spectel technology with its own IP communications applications suite to provide businesses with expanded converged conferencing capabilities.

For instance, if a company's loan processing software indicates that a contract has stalled, the conferencing software could automatically schedule and launch a call between the project team to resolve the issue, rather than wait for a series of alerts.

Synergy Research Group said the market for converged conferencing, which brings together Web, video, audio and data conferencing on an IP network, is expected to reach $9.4 billion by 2008 as the demand for IP telephony, or Voice over IP , blossoms.

IP telephony transmits voice as data packets on the network, which can make the development of applications that combine voice and data information in business processes more efficient.