|Aastra is one of Cistera's important partners. This is from the No Jitter blog...links below|
Aastra’s Novel Approach to R&D
Posted by Brian Riggs, Current Analysis | May 23, 2008
I’ve been spending a little time coming up to speed with Aastra lately. You may recall that the company just closed on its acquisition of Ericsson’s enterprise business. It was the latest in a string of M&A activity that brought DeTeWe, the PBX businesses of Ascom and EADS, and some of Nortel’s European operations into the fold. Also in the mix is Intecom, the PBX developer that continues to market itself as Aastra Intecom; Intecom had been acquired by EADS and was part of its PBX division.
The result of Aastra’s acquisition strategy is a much larger market presence, particularly in Europe where the various acquisitions have given the company sizable bases of customers in Germany, France, Switzerland, Benelux and Scandinavia. Not bad for a company that a few years ago had little presence outside its native Canada.
Like any other company growing through a string of acquisitions, Aastra has a jumble of PBX products, communications apps, and end points to deal with. The company is dealing with this by not making too many product line changes too quickly. Rather it will continue selling distinct communications systems in the various regions where it competes and gradually migrate them to a common communications platform.
In the meantime, Aastra has turned each of the R&D facilities of its various acquired companies into technology specialists. Large enterprise systems development is the purview of the former Matra group in France, while erstwhile Ascom in Switzerland focuses on SMB systems. Wireless is the particular charism of Germany’s DeTeWe facility, SIP end stations and user interfaces occupy the time of the former EADS in North America, while comms applications are on the plate in Belgium. As Aastra R&D SVP Hugh Scholaert explains it, products and technology developed in one group are made available for use by the others. So as the one-time DeTeWe group enhances the DECT handsets previously sold with DeTeWe PBXs, other Aastra business groups can adopt them as well. This was in fact how the Aastra 5000 was developed, by drawing on resources of all its R&D facilities to build a single solution.
All in all it’s an interesting approach from a company that’s quickly increasing its visibility, market reach and product lines in the enterprise communications space.
This issue of No Jitter Weekly is sponsored by VoiceCon Webinars:
"Demonstrating UC Productivity Benefits," Wednesday, June 4, 2 p.m. EDT/11 a.m. PDT, sponsored by Genesys Telecommunications Labs.
Though the buzz around UC continues to grow at an unbelievable pace, the effort to identify and even quantify its benefits has been daunting. Over the past 2 months, noted UC industry analysts Blair Pleasant and Nancy Jamison have taken to the streets to find real-life UC end users from various disciplines within Enterprise Business organizations around the globe. They conducted a formulaic survey interviewing a variety of end users, examining how they use UC in their daily work flow, and how UC has made an impact. Hear what they found out.
This week on No Jitter, we posted a new feature (written by me) on the difficult problem of interoperability in IP telephony and Unified Communications. By looking at three specific issues under the general rubric of interoperability, we show just how hard it's going to be to reach the point that all the vendors say we'll attain, where enterprises can deploy the elements of IPT and UC in a best-of-breed, vendor-agnostic way.
And in case you haven't read it yet, remember to check out Allan Sulkin's review of the VoiceCon Real-Life RFP, also in our right-hand Features column.
On the blog side, John Bartlett looks at the factors that make real-time traffic different, Brian Riggs looks at how Aastra is trying to make itself different from other vendors, and Michael Finneran reports on Cisco's major announcement of a new wireless LAN strategy and architecture. And there's plenty more besides these.
I hope you'll take a look at all our posts and let me know what you think.
No Jitter Editor & Lead Blogger
The first article is wonderfully comprehensive but uses significant terminology beyond my comprehension.
1.) Interoperability in IP Telephony and Unified Communications
Given the title, this could have been a very short article. But we dug a little deeper to explain just why interoperability will be such a difficult nut to crack.
2.) VoiceCon's Annual IP Telephony System RFP Workshop
In case you haven't read it yet, don't miss Allan Sulkin's summary of the responses to the VoiceCon Real-World RFP for an IP telephony system. New and improved this year, with 100% more Unified Communications!
3.) Do the Cisco Motion with Me
A few weeks back, Michael Finneran asked, "Is Cisco Falling Behind in FMC?"
Now, as if on cue, we get the answer: A big initiative from the big vendor to tie the elements and applications of the WLAN together.
4.) Vive La Real-Time Difference
John Bartlett reports that "Real-Time Traffic Is Different." Then he explains how it's different, and what that means for your network.
5.) Aastra's Novel Approach to R&D
Brian Riggs reports that the Canadian vendor has grown by acquiring diverse companies, and now has taken a unique approach to leveraging the technologies that the acquisitions brought to the table.
6.) Is Your IT Organization Ready for Unified Communications?
Not surprisingly, most people say no. So should you be worried (yet)?
7.)The Ceiling is Rising
Matt Brunk says we should raise our expectations, not lower them, as we migrate from TDM to IP. But is that what's really happening?