Avaya has increased its presence in Europe after agreeing to acquire German enterprise communications vendor Tenovis. The company will pay approximately $370 million in cash and assume about $265 million in debt.

The deal will strengthen Avaya's sales and service presence in Europe, especially in Germany, according to Lynn Newman, an Avaya spokeswoman. Tenovis will be integrated into Avaya, but no decision has been made on staffing levels or on the branding of Tenovis' products, she said.

Both companies play in the growing market for IP telephony, in which voice calls are converted to data packets and sent over a carrier data network or enterprise LAN. Tenovis provides enterprise communications systems and services for midsize companies and has about 200 customers throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Newman said.

Growth prospects for IP telephony are at least as good in Europe as in North America, according to Frank Dzubeck, president of consulting company Communications Network Architects. Avaya leads the world in call centre technology, which is being transformed by IP, he said. A greater presence in Europe will be a boost for Avaya, especially with the potential for IP call centres in Eastern Europe, Dzubeck said.
The company especially needs to expand its support organisation to compete overseas, because IP call centers, which can be distributed across multiple locations, tend to require more employee training and support work, Dzubeck said.