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Avaya Now Plays in Hot Silicon Valley Segment

October 15, 2013 | Telepresence Options

avaya headquarters New Jersey

Story and images by Don Clark / Wall Street Journal

Avaya, whose lineage can be traced to AT&T and Bell Labs, recently moved its headquarters to Silicon Valley from New Jersey. The East Coast roots seem far away these days.

The company, a spinoff of Lucent Technologies once known for desk phones and PBX systems, is announcing new products Tuesday to further its conversion into a provider of collaboration programs and cloud-based services, including messaging and video conferencing.

"We are like a mini-Oracle, with hardware and software and services," says Kevin Kennedy, Avaya's chief executive, who estimates only 30% of the company's revenue comes from hardware these days.

Avaya, which was taken private in 2007, has built some of its startup-like offerings by buying a string of startups. It also purchased operations of the venerable Canadian company Nortel.

Among other things, Avaya's current offerings allow SMS-style text messages to be managed by a corporate network so they can pass among devices like smartphones, tablets and PCs over a single number. Kennedy says its video conferencing technology also takes 60% to 80% less bandwidth than competing offerings.

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