Tag Archive for: Avaya

Enterprise Telephony Market To Shrink 20 Percent; Cisco, Avaya Will Grow

By Mark Haranas on July 31, 2015

The enterprise telephony market will shrink about 20 percent within the next few years as enterprises move their IT dollars away from premise solutions toward the cloud, although vendors like Cisco and Avaya continue to see growth through on-premise solutions.

The market is expected to decline from an estimated $10 billion in 2015 to $8 billion by 2019, with its peak hitting $16 billion in 2007, according to Dell’Oro analyst Alan Weckel.

“Having premise equipment is less and less important. Those functions are just going to be integrated into other equipment or come from the cloud,” said Weckel in an interview with CRN. “Although on the enterprise side as you get to scale, the ability of having thousands of connections to the cloud for voice really doesn’t make sense. So the enterprise market will have a different transition.”

Dell’Oro is still predicting IP phone growth over the next five years from both PBX vendors like Cisco, Avaya and Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, as well as from third parties, such as Polycom and Grandstream.

Weckel said enterprises will pick some cloud pieces to use, but, ultimately, the call control will stay premise-based, because for companies with thousands of employees having everything from the cloud “just doesn’t make sense.”

“Cloud makes sense for a lot of SMBs, and the large middle-size companies, but when it gets to thousands of employees, it makes sense to have premise-based solutions,” said Weckel.

“The large vendors, a lot of them are growing through acquisitions and consolidation … If you look at Cisco, they were looking at selling to cloud providers to grow. So using Cisco equipment for the cloud offering, that will be a strategy vendors will use to expand the market — so not selling to the premise but selling to the cloud,” he said.

Analysts said enterprise vendors must create more unique cloud offerings in the telephony market by both selling equipment to support cloud build-outs and by creating stand-alone cloud offerings.

“If you’re a vendor and you don’t have a cloud strategy today, it will be too late,” said Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst at Westminster, Mass.-based ZK Research. “Now it comes down to how aggressively a vendor would be willing to cannibalize its premises-based business in favor of the cloud, how they compensate the channel and how they transition partners.”

“If channel partners do not have a plan in place today for cloud, they will be obsolete in five years,” he said.

Kerravala said ShoreTel has its own cloud offering and cloud partner program that allow the channel to sell its suite of cloud-based VoIP services, while Avaya is enabling its cloud partners to build a cloud rather than offer one directly.

“What’s important is that the vendor plays in the cloud-collaboration market regardless of whether they choose to build, enable others to build, or both,” said Kerravala.

Jamie Wood, executive vice president at Avatel, a Brandon, Fla.-based Avaya partner, said Avaya is ahead of the game with the Avaya Collaborative Cloud open platform solution for partners and customers.

“They provide the options to build, deliver, use, or enhance an organization’s cloud communication services and applications,” said Wood. “[The platform] was designed to support the transition and lives seamlessly alongside the on-premise solutions that organizations retain.”

Wood said the move to cloud communications will be a gradual evolution, and opportunities for solution providers are biggest in the midmarket.

Analysts said solution providers need to expand their level of expertise in cloud or face extinction.

Russ Zielezinski, chief operating officer at Advanced Telecommunications, a ShoreTel and Mitel partner based in Naperville, Ill., said 2015 has been the biggest market shift to the cloud ever.

“It’s been a challenge for us, who were founded as premise-based providers … It has impacted the premise market, and I can say we’ve seen it affect our numbers too,” said Zielezinski. “But for survival, you need to adopt a new cloud-recurring revenue model.”

Zielezinski said solution providers need to become cloud-focused and have the proper amount of technical staff on board to support all the different applications.

Organizations are selecting cloud over premise because companies are more comfortable with using OpEx dollars compared to spending a large sum of money up front for the equipment, according to Weckel.

“So the cloud allows them to pay on a monthly basis, which is just easier from a consumption point of view,” said Weckel.

In addition, cloud solutions are easier for SMBs because they don’t have to overprovision their systems, and it is also typically easier to manage.

“There’s a lot of opportunities there if the VARs and channel expand into adjacent areas around cloud,” said Weckel.

“It’s more than just voice. [Customers] are probably thinking about updating their entire networking, maybe going with a cloud-managed solution there like a Meraki solution for wireless and switching. Maybe they’re thinking about some cloud computing whether it’s Amazon or Rackspace — there’s a lot of opportunity to rewrite applications, write new applications and sort of become the trusted consultant to the customer.”

Enterprise Connect

First American Business Solutions is starting the year out with a bang. We will soon be off to our first trade show of the year – Enterprise Connect!

Enterprise connect

Conference Overview (March 16-19, 2015)

Enterprise Connect’s expert led conference program will discuss the latest systems, software, services and applications for enterprise communications and collaboration. The 4-day conference is designed with one objective in mind: To help you maximize your investments in communications and collaboration systems, software and services.

First American has a booth:

Please stop by booth #2007 and see what we have to offer!”

Our First American resource pool and capabilities continue to grow as does our reputation of delivering quality service at a very competitive price point. Currently, we provide technicians, engineers, trainers and consultants covering all 50 states with high concentrations of technical staff in California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, New Mexico, New York, Texas and Virginia with many certified technicians covering the whole U.S.

We have added a large number of customers both in the private and commercial sector, including the US Department of Defense. The primary IT value-add services we provide to our customers are broken down into the following categories:

  • Rapid Dispatch
  • Staff Augmentation (Resident Engineer)
  • Installation & Training
  • Maintenance
  • Managed Services

Initially we focused on the Nortel Voice portfolio but have grown our Avaya, Cisco, NEC and other product vendor support. We provide both on-site and remote support to our customers.

Visit First American Business Solutions at Enterprise Connect at the Gaylord Palms in Orlando, FL March 16-19th in booth #2007!

Enterprise Connect is celebrating its 25th year as the industry’s premier event. Stop by booth 2007 to meet some of our valuable staff members and learn about the capabilities First American Business Solutions has to offer! To receive a FREE Expo Plus Pass click on the link below and use the code FABS!


Cisco, Others Face Tough Competition From Microsoft

The PBX is losing its grip on the enterprise.

Infonetics Research said this week that unified communications (UC) investments are replacing typical PBX purchases, with North America losing the most PBX market share: The region is down double digits from 2013’s third quarter, Infonetics found.

That’s because businesses are holding off from buying new PBXs as they evaluate cloud alternatives and put money into UC applications, instead of PBXs.

“There is competitive pressure as well, but not as much as in the past,” said Diane Myers, principal analyst for VoIP, UC and IMS at Infonetics Research.

Worldwide, the PBX market – which includes TDM, hybrid and pure IP – dipped 7 percent year over year in the third quarter of 2014, but it has risen 5 percent sequentially, according to the research firm. Still, compared to a year ago, PBX license shipments have dropped 2 percent. Around the globe, PBX revenue leaders are, in alphabetical order, Avaya, Cisco and NEC, Infonetics said.

But those companies face tough competition from UC suppliers, where Microsoft, purveyor of the Lync platform, stands out as the frontrunner, said Infonetics. To that point, UC applications jumped 21 percent in 2014’s third quarter, compared to the year-earlier period.

November 25, 2014 – By Kelly Teal

Microsoft’s Lync surging as PBX choice in North America

Orlando — Microsoft’s Lync communications platform is making big gains as the IP PBX of choice, particularly in North America and particularly among larger businesses, Enterprise Connect attendees were told.

Lync ranks 11th worldwide among IP PBX vendors, but comes in No.3 in North America among businesses with more than 100 phone extensions, according to Peter Hale, principal analyst with MZA, speaking at the conference.

“Microsoft has gone from nothing to third in two to three years,” says Jerry Caron, an analyst with Current Analysis. “It’s become a very significant player in a very short period of time.”

Cisco ranked first worldwide, edging out No.2 Avaya by just 1 percent, but in North America among large businesses, it blew away the field. Cisco sold 44 percent of the phone extensions, he says, with Avaya pulling down 20 percent. Microsoft landed 13 percent, Hale said.

The number for Lync represents phone extensions actually deployed, not those sold, he said. Because Lync comes bundled with other software and includes communications besides IP telephony, the number of licenses sold is actually higher, he said.

One problem Lync could face is the decline of the PC, Caron says. Part of its success so far may be that most corporate desktops run Microsoft software. As businesses use other devices, notably mobile devices, for their main computers, that could change, he says.

Cisco’s worldwide lead in phone extensions is slight and fragile. It holds 13 percent this year, down from 14 percent last year. Avaya is breathing down its neck at 12 percent, the same percentage it scored last year.

Cisco dropped 2 percent in its North American large-business sales from 46 percent to 44 percent from 2012 to 2013, Hale said. During the same period Avaya went from 19 percent to 20 percent. Microsoft went from 12 percent to 13 percent.

Author:  Tim Greene @ Networkworld


Mitel Takes Aim at Avaya With ShoreTel Bid

Anyone thinking about signing a deal with ShoreTel for unified communications gear might want to take a closer look now that Mitel has made public its hopes to buy the company.

Mitel says it’s prepared to pay 24% over the price last Friday of ShoreTel stock (about $540 million), but ShoreTel says no and won’t negotiate, according to a letter Mitel’s CEO wrote to the chairman of ShoreTel. Despite the rebuff, Mitel plans to persist and that means ShoreTel customers should be vigilant.

At the very least, businesses weighing whether to buy ShoreTel gear should find out the likely impact of a merger, says Ken Landoline, a principal analyst with Current Analysis. “Beat up your channel about what does this mean for me?” he says.

Likely it won’t be anything bad because Mitel wouldn’t want to alienate ShoreTel customers by shutting down products they have invested in and perhaps hope to rely on for years, says Jeremy Duke, CEO of Synergy Research group. “They’d be on thin ice,” he says, if they did that. “The market is too competitive. They have to keep the customer base happy.”

An unhappy customer base would leave the Mitel/ShoreTel entity open to poaching by the two big unified communications leaders Cisco and Avaya, he says.

Still, potential ShoreTel customers should make sure that the terms of ongoing support for products are spelled out in whatever contracts they sign, says Landoline, so they know they won’t be stranded if the company is acquired, and its product roadmap changes.

By making public Mitel’s offer to buy the company is putting pressure on ShoreTel’s board by bringing the proposal directly to the attention of shareholders. “[W]e have a proven track record of successfully completing and integrating transactions and are firmly committed to bringing the benefits of a combined organization to our respective customers, employees and other stakeholders,” says Mitel CEO Richard McBee in an Oct. 20 letter to Charles Kissner, chairman of the ShoreTel board.

If Mitel succeeds, it would move the combined company up the ladder of market leaders by revenue in unified communications – at least in the U.S., says Duke. If U.S. on-premises gear plus unified-communications as a service market share for Q1 2014 are compared Cisco (28.7%), Avaya (13.8%), ShoreTel (8.7%) and Mitel (7.1%) rank numbers one, two, three and four respectively, according to Duke. Post merger, that would put Mitel/ShoreTel in second place and bump Avaya third.

He says the prime motivation for the deal may be to boost Mitel’s share of the U.S. market, similar to the way its acquisition of Aastra in January gave it the number 1 ranking in unified communications for Western Europe, Duke says. The Aastra deal also pushed Mitel into the realm of billion-dollar companies by revenue.

Author:  Tim Greene @ Networkworld

Keeping the Nortel CS1000 Alive

Avaya’s announcement of a “final release” of Nortel CS1000 at version R7.6 appears to have left these customers with one choice: rip and replace.

Enterprises that have Nortel CS1000 platforms and phones were hit hard by the Nortel’s bankruptcy. When Nortel’s telecom related assets were acquired by Avaya and GENBAND, the CS1000 customers became dependent on Avaya for ongoing upgrades and maintenance. Avaya’s announcement of a “final release” of CS1000 at version R7.6 appears to have left these customers with one choice: rip and replace.

Rip and Replace
The rip and replace solution presents several problems for the CS1000 owner. First, there is the expense of a new platform; in most cases new servers will be required. There certainly will be new software, management tools, operational procedures, and re-training of IT staff.

Beyond the core platform, there is also their considerable investment in desk phones. Many enterprises have proprietary Nortel TDM and/or Nortel UNIStim IP phones that are not supported by other vendors. With nearly half the cost of an upgrade tied to desk phones, replacing endpoints can be one of the biggest costs, and, of course, every new phone requires an end user to be retrained. And, since CS1000 customers have felt the pain of being tied to one vendor, standards-based SIP endpoints are in-demand.

The technicians that support the CS1000 and UNIStim phones are also moving on: either retiring or learning new systems. As CS1000 technicians refocus on other platforms, their numbers dwindle, impacting availability. As time goes by, the shortage in expertise and parts drives up maintenance fees.

Users will have to be re-trained. New apps will need to be introduced that essentially replace the CS1000 apps. UNIStim phones will have to be replaced. Moving to Unified Communications will be limited unless the CS1000 is eliminated.

IT’s Goals
Given the expense and complexity of rip and replace it’s no surprise that this is not a CS1000 owner’s first choice. An IT team’s goals for the continued life of the CS1000 are likely to include:

  • Extending the life of legacy UNIStim endpoints that can’t be converted to SIP
  • Building a true SIP-based solution
  • Maintaining feature transparency, thereby saving staff time and retraining users
  • Using the enterprise network or Cloud-based service
  • Adding Mobility (smart devices)
  • Offering UC to a range of endpoints (PC/Mac, tablet, phone)
  • Adding Video & Collaboration
  • Supporting Advanced Messaging

A GENBAND Solution
GENBAND has acquired Nortel’s carrier assets. Using their acquired intellectual property theyhave introduced three alternative paths for the CS1000 owner. All three pathways extend the useful life of the CS1000. The pathways not only allow the retention of the CS1000 investment, they also permit the addition of new capabilities for the users.
Three GENBAND Solutions

Wrap the CS1000 with a Cloud Overlay
This solution uses the GENBAND cloud-based service called NUViA™. NUViA™ is an enterprise-class Unified Communications as a Service designed to eliminate the need for premises-based session/call control. It is powered by GENBAND’s EXPERiUS™ solutions which is a platform that ties its heritage to the Nortel MCS platform.

NUViA services can overlay the CS1000 implementation without replacing the existing CS1000 hardware or software. It offers an overlay of UC, video and mobility applications on top of the CS 1000. The enterprise is free to use as little or as much as they want since it is sold on a per seat basis.

Migrate Endpoints to Cloud Based Core
This path expands the NUViA cloud based solution. The enterprise re-registers the UNIStim IP or SIP phones into the cloud-based NUViA system. The DID’s can be moved into SIP or cloud connections or can be maintained on premise gateways registered into NUViA. This allows the enterprise to be always current with the latest features. This solution is also priced on a per seat basis.

Migrate Endpoints to Premises Based Core
This third alternative moves the session/call control to GENBAND’s EXPERiUS™ service. EXPERiUS ties its heritage to the Nortel MCS application server. Given the heritage the feature set will be familiar to CS1000 users. However EXPERiUS is very much a fully virtualized platform with a hardware freedom model where enterprises can select Dell, HP, or IBM servers. The enterprise would re-register UNIStim, IP or SIP phones to the on-premises EXPERiUS servers. Enterprises can then add UC, video and mobility applications.

GENBAND’s Intelligent Messaging Manager integrates with EXPERiUS for voice mail, including emulation of much of the Call Pilot’s telephone interface.

The Benefits
The benefits of the three alternative solutions are:

  • Limited or no user training except for new features
  • The option to select either CAPEX solution with on-premises or an OPEX solution via the cloud
  • Retaining the Nortel phones can save $200 to $500 per user
  • Migrating forward with a SIP-based solution
  • Deploying a full set of UC features
  • No SIP device licenses

The enterprise may select to rip and replace their IP PBX. However, the GENBAND solutions offer a lower impact path for the future. The financial expenses will be lower if the enterprise can continue using its existing CS1000 and UNIStim phone investment.

This is not to say that the GENBAND is the best solution. The enterprise should look at the ROI on both the GENBAND solutions and a rip and replace implementation. It may be that the enterprise is ready to replace the UNIStim phones and the CS1000 is at the end of its ROI life. The GENBAND solutions offer another benchmark for comparison.

Author: Eric Krapf at nojitter

Trends in UC and PBX

Unified communications market up 27% from a year ago; PBX market continues to take hits

—Market research firm Infonetics Research released its 1st quarter 2014 (1Q14) Enterprise Unified Communications and Voice Equipment report, which tracks PBX phone systems, voice over IP gateways, unified communications (UC) applications, and IP phones.


  • Worldwide PBX revenue (TDM, hybrid, and pure IP) is down 8% in 1Q14 from 1Q13, and down 8% from 4Q13
  • The unified communications (UC) segment is the lone bright spot, racking up a 27% worldwide revenue increase in 1Q14 from the same period a year ago
  • Although there are pockets of growth in parts of Europe and South America, along with strength down market, none of it is large enough to lift the overall PBX market
  • CALA (the Caribbean and Latin America) is the only region to notch positive year-over-year PBX revenue growth in 1Q14, as economic activity picked up in anticipation of the World Cup
  • Cisco, Avaya, and NEC are the PBX market share leaders; Mitel cracked the top 4 as a result of its merger with Aastra Microsoft, who leads the UC market, is the only vendor in the enterprise telephony segment to post year-over-year revenue growth in 1Q14

“The enterprise telephony market continues to struggle as businesses hold off new PBX purchases and invest instead in unified communications (UC) applications. Purchase cycles are getting longer, and competitive activity is putting pressure on the market with pricing all over the map,” notes Diane Myers, principal analyst for VoIP, UC, and IMS at Infonetics Research.

Getting to Know Us

Lauren Thompson

As First American Business Solutions continues to grow so does the need to increase our support staff and make sure our existing
staff are still at the top of their field. Our goal is to always ensure we provide the service our customers expect and deserve.

FirstABS is happy to have Lauren Thompson join our team! Lauren started with FirstABS in June of 2014 as an addition to our Business Development Team. Lauren is a 2009 Florida State Graduate with a MS in Integrated Marketing Communications.

Sean Poppell

Sean Poppell

FirstABS would like to congratulate Technical Consultant and Voice Engineer Sean Poppell for acquiring the Avaya Certified Support Specialist (ACSS) – Avaya Aura® Session Manager and System Manager Certification. This achievement certifies that Sean has the advanced level of technical proficiency necessary to successfully support Avaya Aura Session Manager and System Manager Products. Congrats, Sean, and thank you for continuing to make FirstABS advanced and competitive in our industry!

FirstABS is committed to staying abreast of current technology trends and knowledge so as to always provide the most current, competitive and satisfactory services!

Getting to Know… Sean Poppell


FirstABS is proud to have staff across the country and features different employees each month to give our clients the opportunity to know us a little better.

This month, meet Sean Poppell, an Engineer/Business Development Specialist at FirstABS.

Sean has been with FirstABS for over three years, working and living in Keystone Heights, Florida. His experience includes 18 years designing, engineering, installing, managing and consulting for Avaya Red and Blue (Nortel) product lines.

Sean is a big fan of all things “water,” as evidenced by his favorite book, The Old Man and the Sea, and favorite movie, The Hunt for Red October. In his spare time, he enjoys fishing, hunting, watching his favorite college team (Florida Gators) and spending time with family and friends.

Sean is community-minded, and is a volunteer firefighter and active supporter for autism related charities.

According to Sean, his wife is his inspiration. She is, “my anchor that holds me in place no matter how rough the seas may get.”

Taking a Deeper Look into IP Office

Did you know FirstABS now provides a full Avaya IP Office solution for our key channel partners? We have developed a customized program designed to help our customers with hundreds of locations.

The FirstABS IP Office offers several advantages to help keep you productive and profitable, including:

Project Coordination

• FirstABS will provide a Project Coordinator to serve as the primary point of contact for the Prime (customer lead program representative)
• Our Project Coordinator will collaborate with your Prime on dates of implementation, tracking of equipment, site contact and location of installation, staging of equipment, technician assignment, installation of equipment and post installation training and support.

Site Survey
We will perform one survey for each site. The survey will include:

• Equipment room inspection.
• Verification of and power requirements for equipment including base station units.
• Validation of wiring and terminations for Avaya equipment and wireless station units.

Staging and Programming
You ship the equipment to our staging area for programming prior to your implementation date:

• We will unbox and inventory all equipment.
• We stage and program equipment based on your predetermined requirements.
• We will send to the our technician prior to the date of your site installation.

Installation of Equipment
Our technician will install the IP Office equipment at each site location. All installations will be scheduled around your required time frames.

• We will de-install the current telephone system and remove it if requested.
• We unbox and inventory all equipment.
• We install the Avaya IP Office in the sites telecommunication room.
• We set out the end user telephones.
• We mount the wireless base station as necessary.
• We perform cable runs.
• We test all features before leaving site.

Post Installation Support and Training
Our onsite technician will provide post installation support to troubleshoot issues that may arise from the installation.

If the Avaya IP Office sounds interesting, please contact us to learn more about our competitive “turn-key” service, and get your customized program underway!