We all love being right, and in the case of Skype and Avaya, it seems, I was.
Back in 2009 when Skype announced their relationship with Shoretel, I felt that Avaya and Cisco would be their next major partnerships and alliances. But Cisco is going their own way it seems, with reports that Cisco wants to go head to head with Skype in video, while at the same time having their SIP based phones still be reachable to Skype callers.
The pairing up with Avaya was likely driven by Avaya's lead investor, Silver Lake Partners, who see the synergy between the two companies, and the very lucrative enterprise market. This is big win for Skype's business lead, David Gurle, who joined the company earlier this year. At the end of the day though this will come down to the Avaya sales team being able to convince enterprise customers to add Skype, which is something out of Skype's control. Those types of sales efforts require face to face selling, sales engineers, support teams that are available in real time. Even if that comes from Avaya, Skype will have to dedicate resources to all those key functions as they roll out Skype Connect in October with them.
Since it's inception, Skype has been self service and self support based. This big move into Enterprise with a partner like Avaya moves them into a whole different sector, and with it comes enormous reward potential, as well as some risk that goes along with it.