Now that gearmaker Avaya and Web-calling service Skype share a private-equity owner, the two companies are discussing ways they can better work together. “We are having conversations with [Skype],” Avaya CEO Kevin Kennedy said in an interview today. Kennedy didn’t go into detail, but these talks most likely focus on how the companies can work together, as opposed to some sort of combination of operations.
It’s not difficult to imagine Avaya helping Skype enter new markets, such as the premises of its large business clients. While Skype’s Web-calling service is already widely used by small businesses, it’s yet to prove that it’s reliable enough to serve the needs of large enterprise customers. Perhaps Avaya, whose business is focused on the enterprise, could help Skype make its Web-calling service more attractive to such large companies.
What’s more, Skype could be integrated into Avaya’s products, which include certain Nortel gear (Avaya closed its Nortel acquisition today). Nortel has long helped carriers like Verizon service their corporate customers. By integrating its offerings with Skype’s, Avaya could help reduce these customers’ telecommunications bills.