Aspect vs. Avaya, round two

Round one was a battle of the blogs, so naturally round two took place on — where else? — Twitter (conversation between Mike Sheridan, EVP of sales at Aspect, and Jon Alperin, director of developer relations at Avaya):

First of all, there was a SIP party? I guess I wasn’t invited. Would’ve been interesting to see some VoIP packets gone wild…

Is this a fair fight? Of course! All’s fair in love and war and telecom. But here’s an example of how standardization diminishes vendors’ distinction: If everybody offers SIP solutions then what’s so different between them?

To the customer, probably not much. All the customer cares is 1) It works; 2) It’s affordable; and 3) It’s supported long term. It may very well boil down to cost and platform ecosystem (e.g. extending and expanding the solution), but even those two factors are highly competitive among vendors. Yes, it is definitely a buyer’s market.

I do see a trend in 2010 which Avaya will have to constantly play defense against competitors like Aspect, at least until positive words from the field rise through the public channels regarding the execution of the Nortel roadmap. Aspect and other Avaya competitors are doing the smart thing by being aggressive during this time of uncertainty from Avaya/Nortel customers. It’s the nature of the business. Their success in wooing these customers remains to be seen, but we know they are already working hard on it.

Cisco is still on the sidelines being a quiet spectator. The company that dragged every TDM vendor into the SIP market is sitting pretty, probably laughing to itself. Oh wait, it did announce a massive new router capable of boosting the Internet backbones, like being able to let the entire population in China make a video call simultaneously. (Booooooring, right? Unless the Middle Kingdom becomes one ginormous contact center then I would care…)


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