Leveraging Traverse Networks technology (which they acquired last week), Avaya can expand its portfolio of mobility products and services to address a broader set of customer requirements.

Traverse brings 24 employees, probably half of which are mobile client developers. Making software for mobile devices is not easy. Even if you work with cross-platform technologies like Java, there is always some tweaking necessary to deliver a finished product.

From my experiences at FirstHand Technologies, I learned that each mobile phone, despite the best engineering of the device vendor, has a unique footprint, processor, screen, input and control technology which, even when cross-platform technologies like J2ME are used, you get a different UI result. To make matters worse for a server manufacturer, the client software environment is constantly changing. So, it won’t be like the PC market in recent years, where it doesn’t matter which brand the application runs on, so long as its Windows. Mobile, even Microsoft Windows Mobile is not like that – yet.

It’s more like the DOS PC market. Where the brand did matter, and functionality was low because of the slow processors and limited memory. Hopefully, the industry will have time to improve these feature gaps in a hurry.

— Now, here’s the Deal Score: —

Strategic Fit: 5/5. Clearly this young technology company needs a parent to propel its technology into the market. And, Avaya needs a stronger mobility solution set to integrate into their core telephony platforms.

Timing: 5/5. This deal comes on the heals of Cisco’s acquisition of Orative. It is a young company, with a small number of customers, but a polished product. (I saw it demonstrated by the CEO Dirk at the Avaya Analyst Conference.)

Customer Demand: 5/5. Clearly, there is huge demand for this kind of functionality. See the summer 2006 study and graphs presented in Mobile VoIP.

Potential: 4/5. This is a classic buy a polished product, integrate it and drive it into the channel.

Overall: 19/20: 95% – A grade.

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