Avaya Inc has expanded its alliances in VoIP, unveiling an agreement with VoWLAN specialist Meru Networks Inc to resell its WLAN controllers and access points.
Sunnyvale, California-based Meru has always sought to differentiate itself from other WLAN developers by focusing on voice applications, a choice which is beginning to pay dividends for the privately-held company now that VoWLAN is gaining traction among handset manufacturers and WLAN infrastructure providers generally. It joined Basking Ridge, New Jersey-based Avaya’s DeveloperConnection interop program in July, and now the two companies have formalized the relationship.
As a result of this deal, Avaya will resell Meru’s MC-500, 1000 and 3000 controllers and AP-200 access points. As such, Meru replaces Proxim, the bankrupt WLAN vendor recently acquired by TeraBeam from Israel, with which it had a working relationship, along with Motorola, before Proxim went broke.
Motorola too has moved to replace Proxim, in its case with an alliance with Trapeze Networks Inc, into which it also made an undisclosed equity investment. The alliance clearly represents a huge fillip for Meru, in that it now has an organization of the size and clout of Avaya pushing its products to a global audience.
On the handset side, Avaya already resells phones from SpectraLink Corp, but now, as a result of the deal with Meru, it will add phones from the Hitachi-Cable WiFi phone that Meru already markets. Sources close to the two companies said they both work with Vocera Communications Inc, a specialist developer of VoWLAN products with a strong showing in healthcare, where it markets wearable, hands-free voice recognition badges.
The deal with Meru came after Avaya said would work with France Telecom’s global carrier arm Equant NV for joint development of VoIP apps, having already enabled interoperability between its Communication Manager IP PBX and Equant’s VoIP VPN service.
It also announced the availability of the first fixed-mobile convergence apps developed as a result of the collaboration with Finnish mobile heavyweight Nokia Corp it unveiled earlier this year: owners of Nokia Series 60 phones can now access Communication Manager by downloading these apps to their handsets.