CRN Exclusive: Avaya Launches New Cloud UC Service For Partners To Drive Recurring Revenues

Avaya is opening the recurring revenue floodgate for channel partners through its new cloud-based video conferencing and collaboration service: Avaya Equinox Meetings Online, available exclusively through channel partners.

"I'm pretty confident that many customers will move to Avaya Equinox Meetings Online, since it has features not found in typical web conference services such as full HD 1080p [video resolution], H.235 [security and encryption] and the option to integrate current endpoints from other brands," said Dafne Meymar, managing director for RT4 Net, a Mexico-based solution provider and Avaya partner, in an email to CRN. "Our customers will find [the solution] a very attractive option for room system deployments."

Built on Avaya's Team Engagement technologies, the solution provides wideband audio and video with up to 1080p HD that is bandwidth efficient and optimized for Internet connectivity, according to Avaya. Desktop and mobile participants connect into a cloud-based meeting through a link in an email or calendar invitation, while encryption features keep sessions secure.

[Related: Avaya Partners: 'It's Time For A Change']

The subscription-based service provides customers with unlimited use of virtual meeting rooms that support up to 50 participants. Equinox enables full conference control and moderation as well as content sharing including the ability to receive text chat on room systems.

Equinox can be integrated into a variety of other vendor's room systems including Cisco, Polycom and Lifesize.

Avaya said the solution reduces or eliminates the need for customers to invest in new infrastructure to support video conferencing and collaboration sessions.

Michael Mastnak, the communications business unit manager for Reflex Solutions, a South African solution provider and Avaya partner, said traditional video conferencing and collaboration is complicated and expensive with infrastructure and support investments.

"Avaya's Equinox makes it fast, easy, and cost-effective for our customers to access best-in-class video collaboration by delivering it in the cloud," said Mastnak, in an email to CRN.

According to research and consulting firm Frost & Sullivan, cloud video conferencing sales are projected to grow 21 percent annually between 2015 and 2020, while cloud video conferences seats will increase 34 percent, compounded annually.

"The global demand for easy-to-use video conferencing and collaboration capabilities has never been greater as employees, suppliers, and customers in distributed locations need to quickly come together," said Yogen Patel, vice president and general manager for Engagement Applications at Avaya, in a statement. "Equinox delivers superb quality, simplicity and affordability, offering a great opportunity for our channel partners."

Avaya partners in nearly 30 countries can now offer Equinox to their customers for audio, video, data and contact sharing with more countries set to be added in the future.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based vendor said little to no up-front investment is required to deliver the service. The solution is opened to any Avaya Video Authorized partner.

After filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection early this year, a restructuring and reorganization effort is currently underway at Avaya. Last month, Avaya revealed Kevin Kennedy's eight-year run as CEO would come to an end on October 1. Taking over as CEO is Avaya's current chief operating officer and global sales leader Jim Chirico, who has been with Avaya since 2008.

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