Enterprise Connect: Tuesday keynote from Avaya

Too much SIPping from Avaya CEO Kevin Kennedy

For more photos and videos of Avaya at Enterprise Connect 2011 please visit the album on Facebook.

Following Cisco SVP Barry O’Sullivan’s keynote speech on Tuesday was Avaya CEO Kevin Kennedy. And traditionally like all other keynotes at the conference, it started with a video. Kennedy picked a TV ad from Kohler, the makers of beautifully designed kitchen and bath furnishings.



The point was made about innovative design and enhancing the user experience, something Avaya’s doing with the highly anticipated Flare Experience tablet.

Unfortunately for those in attendance and watching the live stream, we had to endure a good chunk of time of him (re-)stressing the importance and success of SIP. It was SIP this, SIP that, SIP everything. SIP was already prevalent in his VoiceCon keynote last year, yet there he was on stage again talking the same message instead of starting off with a bang about what’s on everybody’s mind: Flare. Kennedy failed to follow through on the momentum from the opening Kohler video and killed the buzz with a regurgitation of SIP. The sentiment was evidently shared by many Twitter users monitoring #enterprisecon (some selected tweets):

#Avaya #enterprisecon. I’m always left with the feeling that working with Kennedy would be joyless.Tue Mar 01 17:12:11 via Twitter for iPhone

#EnterpriseCon, Avaya CEO Kevin Kennedy begins keynote personally. Gets the days best laugh. Then gets into SIP. Crowd silencedTue Mar 01 16:31:00 via Twitter for iPhone

Avaya keynote ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ #enterpriseconTue Mar 01 16:34:49 via TweetDeck

Clearly Kennedy’s keynote opening about SIP wasn’t very interesting to this crowd who’s been living and breathing SIP for a while now…

The Flare Experience demo with the help from Brett Shockley also ran into a snag when the tablet (even though Avaya won’t call it that) failed to grab a working WiFi connection. Luckily Avaya had several operational demo units at their show booth for people to really take a closer look.

Avaya indeed showed its innovation chops with the Flare Experience, but the keynote this year was more of an Avaya Flat Experience.


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