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HP and Avaya have struck a three-year agreement to jointly sell and service Avaya unified communications hardware and software. The deal is one in a series of HP partnerships with other UC players such as Microsoft and Alcatel-Lucent that aim to eat away at UC market leader Cisco’s market share, and boost its overall managed services business.
The agreement expands HP’s Unified Communications and Collaboration (UC&C) offerings with the addition of offering Avaya Aura Unified Communications architecture and applications, Avaya Contact Center applications and Avaya’s range of end-user client applications and endpoints.  HP will also offer the solutions through its Managed Services, and provide consulting services for implementation and design.

As mobile becomes increasingly mainstream, HP is diving into the UC marketplace in hopes of grabbing a piece of the exploding pie of communications infrastructure required to power more devices and the enterprise move to increasingly social and collaborative networks.

"Organizations face constant change and the decisions they make must be flexible enough to meet future needs — such as unification of real-time communication with Web 2.0 and social media applications," said Gary M. Budzinski, senior vice president and general manager, Technology Services, HP.

HP has made no bones about its desire to play hard in the UC marketplace, and has made some major market moves to solidify its position against market leader—and former partner–Cisco. Last year, HP announced it would enter into a 10-year alliance with Alcatel-Lucent, and a four year agreement with Microsoft to build out its UC strategy and provide customers with options, although not from Cisco. Cisco announced in February that it was dropping HP as a partner, citing “conflicting visions.”

HP’s UC alliances underscore its desire to build its managed services business, which HP will encourage customers to use for their UC needs.