Google, Avaya Partner To Give Apps A Voice

    February 23, 2007

When Google Apps Premier Edition was released yesterday, it became the subject of more than a few news stories. Expect to see another round of them once a new deal between Google and Avaya bears fruit. Avaya has promised to integrate “communications” – e.g., voice – with Google Apps.

Avaya deals in “communications systems, applications, and services,” according to its website, and a couple of headers like “IP Telephony” and “Mobility” give an even more specific idea of what the company’s all about. And Avaya is, by all appearances, adding Google to its list of top priorities.

Geoffrey Baird, who has an extremely long title (“vice president and general manager, Appliances, Mobility and Small Systems Division, Avaya”), discussed the new arrangement. “Avaya is working with Google to accelerate the convergence of enterprise communications with Web services,” he said.

Then Baird took a moment to pat his company’s new friend on the back. “Google Apps Premier Edition offers a powerful set of APIs that enable us to create new solutions that can help small businesses make dramatic improvements in employee productivity and get more out of their communications investment – making both Web and communications content available over a PC, phone or mobile device.”

As excited as the Google and Avaya reps were, though, they weren’t on their own (which is to say, what the companies are doing has some merit, and isn’t just a business maneuver). Om Malik, while writing about the deal, described “marrying voice with IM, email, and presence applications” as “[t]he holy grail of integrated communications . . . a yet-unrealized promise . . . .”

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