Network operator AT&T Inc and business telephony equipment vendor Avaya Inc have unveiled an alliance aimed at helping companies and government agencies migrate to VoIP services.
The partnership brings together two erstwhile parts of Ma Bell, with Bedminster, New Jersey-based AT&T itself the result of last year’s acquisition of long-distance operator AT&T by the RBOC SBC Inc, while Avaya, from nearby Basking Ridge, is the result of the private telephony division’s spin-out from Lucent Technologies, the telecoms equipment arm of the empire and inheritor of the Bell Labs capability.
AT&T will be offering connectivity on its global MPLS network, with Avaya IP telephony kit at the customer’s premises [This will] enable everyone from multinational corporations to SMBs to deploy VoIP services, said Eric Shepcaro, VP of business strategy and development at the carrier. We’re also devoting resources up front, putting people from both companies into a common design center for migration.
Peter Leuzzi, Avaya’s VP of strategic alliances and partnerships, said the two companies will carry out network readiness assessments of customers’ LANs to guarantee that they have sufficient bandwidth and QoS capabilities to deploy VoIP internally.
Avaya will come in with the CPE, specifically, its Communication Manager IP PBX, and AT&T will offer a range of products from basic WAN connectivity through to managed services with functions like directory services and presence in the Cloud, said Shepcaro. AT&T will also offer managed collaboration tools, in which VoIP has a role to play.
Another key concern when deploying VoIP is security, which Shepcaro said AT&T and Avaya would offer in the form of end-to-end encryption from handset to handset.