Avaya has bought Traverse Networks for $15 million and simplified pricing for its various VoIP software platforms.

Avaya acquired Traverse for its fixed-mobile convergence software, which allows users to access corporate IP PBX features, voicemail, email, and other resources over a secure mobile phone data connection.Timed with the acquisition, Avaya announced a repackaging of its unified communications products, including a new four-level product structure that the vendor says will make it simpler and less expensive for customers to buy and install the technology.

Traverse is a five-year-old start-up based in California which makes mobile phone applications Visual Voicemail and CallConnect that let users access office telephone features and IP PBX/voicemail remotely.

Visual Voicemail aggregates a user's office voicemail messages and displays them on a mobile similar to an email inbox. It shows data including co-workers' names, caller ID, and message time and date. Users can listen to, delete and forward messages on the office voicemail system from the cellphone interface.

CallConnect extends control of a desktop IP phone to a mobile device. A user can program a simultaneous-ring feature so an incoming call to an office phone extension or cellphone will ring both devices at the same time, for example. Number forwarding and other call-handling options are also part of the software.

PDAs and smart phones running Java 2 Micro Edition, as well as RIM's Blackberry devices, can run the Traverse client software.

The server-based component of Traverse's product sits in front of a corporate IP PBX or IP-enabled phone, behind a corporate firewall . Called Mobility Server, the application communicates with IP PBX and messaging systems and connects these internal servers, via an encrypted data tunnel, to external cellphones running the Traverse client.

Avaya's Traverse acquisition is most likely a counter-move to Cisco's purchase of Orative in October. Cisco paid $31 million for the start-up, which makes software that ties together mobile phones with corporate IP PBX and messaging systems.

Avaya says it will integrate Traverse into its IP PBX and messaging products in 2007, and still continue to support Traverse on Cisco CallManager.