Avaya Flare vs. Cisco Cius

By Chris Talbot  |  Print this article Print

Avaya will offer an Android-based tablet PC designed for unified communications and collaboration via voice, video and text, going directly up against the forthcoming Cisco Cius tablet PC.

Avaya's new tablet, which leverages the Avaya Aura 6.0 technologies announced in July, will compete directly with Cisco's entry into the world of tablet computing, but the two offer very different form factors and capabilities. With an 11.6-inch screen, Flare is much bigger than the Cius, which sports a seven-inch screen. Cisco also offers a much longer battery life – eight hours for the Cius compared to three hours for the Flare Experience. However, Cisco's longer battery life and more compact design may not be much of an advantage over Avaya.

"There is a fairly significant difference in battery life between the two. The Cius claims eight hours. The Flare claims three hours. But frankly, the Flare is not the sort of device that somebody's going to want to take with them on the road and try to get hours and hours and hours of usage out of it," King said. "It's really meant to be used on the desktop as a way to initiate and participate in conference calls, VoIP calling, web-based video conferences; and if you need to unplug it and take it into a presentation, you can do that."

One point of discussion around tablet PCs is whether it's necessary for them to have long battery life features, he said. Although King noted that it's nice to have a longer battery life, especially for tablets being positioned as consumer devices, it's not necessary when used mostly in an office environment or when the device can be charged using an adapter kit while on the road.

"In a business setting, this kind of device is one that's going to be turned on and turned off as necessary," King said. That's a big contrast compared to the iPad's design intent, which expects people to use it for hours on end. He explained that business tablets aren't meant to be used in that way. Instead, a business tablet is meant to complement a desktop or laptop computer.

In addition to the announcement of the Flare Experience, Avaya also announced two other new products that in the collaboration and videoconferencing space.

Avaya Video Conferencing Solutions is a new product category with units ranging in size from those suitable for desktop videoconferencing to multi-screen conference room deployments. These include the Avaya one-X Communicator Desktop Video Soft Client, the Avaya 1010 and 1020 video systems for workgroups and small conference rooms, the Avaya 1030, 1040 and 1050 for medium to large conference rooms, and the Avaya Videoconferencing Manager 6.0, which will provide management tools like conference scheduling, configuration and monitoring.

The Avaya Collaboration Server provides Aura 6.0 functions on a single server so customers can use the Flare Experience, Desktop Video Device and Avaya Video Conferencing Solutions.