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Avaya/Lenovo deal could give VARs simple VoIP product to sell

Avaya could provide some additional competition to both Cisco Systems Inc. and Vonage, following an agreement to put its voice over IP (VoIP) software on Lenovo ThinkPad notebooks.

Avaya — a solid competitor to Cisco in the international voice systems market, but a distant trailer in the U.S. — made the agreement to expand its VoIP market share by putting its products right on the desktops of highly mobile executives, allowing them to use their office phone numbers while on the road, according to a statement from Avaya.

The products could give channel companies that specialize in systems and network integration the ability to sell basic VoIP systems along with their laptops and without the expense of training or hiring voice networking specialists.

The software includes “click to call” integration with Microsoft Corp.’s Office Communicator and IBM’s Lotus SameTime instant messaging clients, as well as with the systems software on the ThinkPads themselves.

The Avaya IP Softphone will be able to authenticate users with the fingerprint-reading biometric security on ThinkPads, as well as with the system’s message notification system, so the screen will light up when a voicemail arrives.

The first version of  the integrated system is due in the third quarter of this year. No pricing was available.

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