A new three year agreement with Avaya, to strengthen their already strong ties, Hewlett-Packard (HP) signed earlier this month as a step towards stronger IP Communications between both companies.

The new contract

The new agreement signed will see HP using the Avaya’s Unified Communications (UC) to form their own Unified Communication and Collaboration (UC & C), when selling Avaya products through HP services.  This will allow further reduction in costs, thus helping in bringing the prices down says both companies. HP had recently acquired 3Com, a Router, swtiches, VoIP, wireless and network management company, thus adding More IP voice products to HP’s list of services and products. With the new acquisition, it was necessary for HP to get Avaya to step in since HP is new in the voice system market. In the near future you will see HP bundling a series of products and services with Avaya, like the already planned Avaya Aura Unified Communications applications, Avaya Contact centre applications, and range of end- user applications with Avaya and as part of HP UC&C lifecycle services. However, like past product agreements Avaya hardware and software applications will not be bundled together with the various new HP services and support.

Competing with the rival

It is evident from all these moves that HP is pushing to increase their market share and competing with their rival Cisco systems.  With the new further strengthened partnership with Avaya, HP will have an upper hand as mentioned above in letting prices be more competitive for the end user market.

Microsoft effect

Enterprise Voice and data directing analyst, Matthias Machowinski thinks HP does not want to strain their relationship with Microsoft with their new three year contract with Avaya. Although he forecasts, although  not soon but there could be an issue in the air between HP and Microsoft. Because Microsoft has a purer UC solution, although there is some overlap with HP’s new agreement, it should have an effect on their current cordial relationship. However, what might be the possible problem is with the Network equipments, which both Avaya and Microsoft pioneer. The problem may arise when the end user has to make a choice to stick to one company rather than two contracts, when choosing between united communications products and network equipment products. It seems more logical to have buy both solution with a company rather than having to choose Microsoft only for network portion of the deal.

This raises the question whether HP’s reliance on partners to sell their voice systems weakens their market strength, however HP does not see it as a threat rather a source of opportunity in spanning at a wider market. Also united communications and voice are applications that run on a certain infrastructure and HP’s lack of native voice and united communication applications and/or products. The company still doesn’t seem to take any step to have their own voice section for now rather, they prefer working with partners and mergers to support and satisfy that part of their businesses.