Avaya purchased audio-conference vendor Spectel this week for US$103 million, with plans to add converged audio/video/Web conferencing to its enterprise VoIP platforms.
While the acquisition strengthens Avaya's conferencing technology for enterprises, it also opens up a new market for providing conferencing gear to service providers.
Spectel is a privately held company. It has 210 employees and more than 500 customers, including a mix of enterprises with in-house voice conference infrastructures and carriers that offer audio-conferencing services, such as AT&T.
Spectel makes software based on Session Initiation Protocol that allows users to set up and manage teleconferences, as well as integrate Web and other software tools - such as Web conferencing, digital documents and IP video - into multi-part conferencing applications. Avaya says it will add Spectel conferencing software to its IP PBX application offerings for enterprises, while continuing to sell the Spectel platforms to carriers and large businesses. Before the buyout, Avaya and Spectel partnered on joint PBX and IP PBX product offerings with conferencing software.
In addition to converged conferencing technology, the acquisition gives Avaya an answer to Cisco Systems's US$80 million purchase last year of Latitude Communications, which made conferencing software based on Session Initiation Protocol.