Avaya’s Sipera acquisition opens SIP doors for partners

Bartolo and Signore - Avaya

Avaya's Anthony Bartolo (left) and Enzo Signore (right)

Avaya partners will get a shot at offering SMB customers voice over IP (VoIP) security usually only offered to carriers as a result of the networking vendor’s acquisition of Sipera Systems.

Avaya announced plans to purchase Richardson, Tex.-based Sipera, which produces Session Border Controller and other security products around Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) Tuesday morning.

The networking giant offers SBC capabilities through a partnership with Acme Packet, but that product was challenging for many of the company’s partners, according to Anthony Bartolo, vice president and general manager of the unified communications business unit at Avaya – namely, it’s a carrier-grade solution carrying a carrier-grade price point and carrier-grade complexity.

“There’s a segment of the market looking for a SBC solution at a price point that makes sense for them and a complexity that allows them to operate the solution on their own,” Bartolo said. “This acquisition will provide any Avaya channel partner the ability to have a full SBC suite from small through to large.”

That’s exactly the segment – the SMB space in particular – that Avaya is targeting, through its partners, with the Sipera technology, said Enzo Signore, vice president of product management for the unified communications business unit at Avaya.

Signore said Sipera’s technology will be made available to all of its partners, and that the company also has long-term plans to acquire additional channel partners in the SIP space.

“It’s really an under-serviced market, quite frankly,” Bartolo said. “There are a slew of enterprise customers who see the value of the solution, but can’t justify the carrier price point.”

Sipera has built up its own channel as well, with some degree of crossover between the two companies’ partner bases, Signore said. Those who are not today Avaya partners will “have every opportunity to join Avaya Connect,” the company’s unified partner program, he noted.

Along with common ground in the partner base, the two companies share distribution partners. Longtime Avaya distie Westcon has been a Sipera distributor since 2006. In a statement sent to ChannelBuzz.ca, David Grant, senior vice president for Europe at Westcon, called the deal “a significant transaction in the marketplace,” and  “a move that has dramatic repercussions for companies looking to successfully leverage and adopt SIP-based UC applications.”

“Today’s news is significant in several ways:  On a market level, it dramatically lowers the cost of entry for companies looking to deploy advanced SIP (Session-Initiation Protocol) UC applications and protocols.  This will fuel interest and expand the ability for companies to leverage SIP technology,” Grant opined. “For Avaya partners, this means reduced time-to-value for those selling advanced Aura-based solutions.  The acquisition will also dramatically lower the OpEx costs for those interested in managing and provisioning secure remote working.”

One other note of interest to Avaya partners: According to Bartolo, the deal will give Avaya VARs access to Sipera’s well-respected VIPER Lab, a security testing ground for unified communications applications and products that also trains partners on VoIP-related security services.