Avaya is delivering unified communications (UC) solutions at a rapid pace, and this time, the focus is in the cloud. Avaya's new Collaborative Cloud is bringing a new style of UC communication suite, one accessible from the web directly. Here's the scoop …

The Avaya Collaborative Cloud is a "strategic framework" for the UC world, essentially linking the outside world to a hybrid cloud communication suite. This enables anyone with an Internet connection to be up and running on a company's UC network, collaborating with the rest of us at the office or an airport lounge. The Collaborative Cloud currently consists of two key platforms, and fall under the AvayaLive moniker. They are:
  • AvayaLive Connect: The video communication suite you've always been waiting for -- in the cloud -- supports video, voice messaging and presence across PC, Mac, iOS and Android devices. Mobile and remote employees can rejoice, while VARs can take a breather -- the entire solution can be downloaded from the Internet.
  • AvayaLive Engage: Once Avaya's "web.alive" platform, this collaboration suite seems more like a game, with 3D avatar-based environments for "creative sessions" and personalized events such as training seminars and more. AvayaLive Engage doesn't support iOS or Android, but Mac OS X is supported.
Avaya believes both platforms will be particularly interesting to small businesses, helping SMBs get deep into the UC world without digging deep into their pockets or data center infrastructure. What's more, the Collaborative Cloud framework can actually allow everyone from customers to channel partners to tweak, build and growth existing services and applications living in the cloud.

Currently, Avaya has these tools running with select beta partners, but if you're anxious to get your hands on them, you'll have to wait until mid-2012. And hey, stay tuned. Avaya has promised additional Collaborative Cloud AvayaLive technologies to emerge well into 2012.