AvayaLive Engage to close by end of year

Aphrodite -- better known as Venus de Milo -- on display in Art Gallery 25. (Image courtesy MellaniuM.)

Aphrodite — better known as Venus de Milo — on display in Art Gallery 25. (Image courtesy MellaniuM.)

AvayaLive Engage, one of the three major enterprise-focused virtual environment platforms, is shutting down the company announced.

Avaya is no longer accepting new customers, and service for existing customers will end when their current contracts expire.

The platform is shutting down because the browser are no longer supporting the required plugin, said Ken Rigby, CEO of MellaniuM, one of the top consulting companies working on the platform.

“We are very disappointed after spending so much time promoting and creating virtual worlds,” said Ken Rigby, CEO of MellaniuM, one of the top consulting companies working on the platform. “However, Avaya never seemed to have the passion [for AvayaLive Engage]. I can’t understand why they didn’t, and why they won’t let anyone take over its running.”

The platform is shutting down because the browser are no longer supporting the required plugin, he told Hypergrid Business.

“They have stated that the cost of going it alone is prohibitive,” he said. “We are starting to move to Unreal Engine 4, which has many advantages and will be like AvayaLive but not in a plugin but rather on Steam.”

AvayaLive was a mesh-based platform, and all those models can be easily moved to other platforms, he added.

A virtual meeting in AvayaLive Engage. (Image courtesy Dan Pontefract.)

A virtual meeting in AvayaLive Engage. (Image courtesy Dan Pontefract.)

“We’re helping several of our Avaya clients find alternative platforms right now,” said Anders Gronstedt, president of the virtual education consulting firm The Gronstedt Group, Inc.

Customers have been using AvayaLive Engage for virtual conferences, classes, and virtual offices, he said.

Anders Gronstedt

Anders Gronstedt

“They have seen it coming for about a year now so they’re not surprised,” he added. “We’ve been conducting an exhaustive evaluation of platform options this spring for our Avaya clients.”

There are a number of legacy 3D platforms vying for Avaya business, and they might get a short-lived windfall, he said.

“But I think the long term winner in this market place will be platforms that offer a pathway to virtual reality access — along with laptop access,” he said. “That’s where this market is heading.”

General interest in AvayaLive Engage platform has been declining as well.

Interest in AvayaLive Engage (blue line), formerly known as web.alive (red line.) (Image courtesy Google Trends.)

Interest in AvayaLive Engage (blue line), formerly known as web.alive (red line). (Image courtesy Google Trends.)

The AvayaLive community forums haven’t seen any activity since 2013. The links to external forums on the official AvayaLive Engage community page are all dead.

Except for the shutdown announcement, the LinkedIn group has only had two posts in the past year, the previous one six months ago. That compares to about 40 posts dated a year ago.

Meanwhile, interest in Protosphere, its chief enterprise competitor, has also seen a similar decline in interest, according to Google Trends.

maria@hypergridbusiness.com'

Maria Korolov

Maria Korolov is editor and publisher of Hypergrid Business. She has been a journalist for more than twenty years and has worked for the Chicago Tribune, Reuters, and Computerworld and has reported from over a dozen countries, including Russia and China.

  • Susannah Avonside

    One is guessing that ‘legacy 3D platforms’ includes OpenSim. Why OpenSim wasn’t considered in the first place is open to question, as I doubt that these ‘enterprise’ (read: closed source) 3D environments would offer much in terms of an improvement over OpenSim, and using OpenSim would represent a considerable financial saving, even if work needed to be done to fine tune the code. I can’t say that I’ve really been blown away by my experiences when trying out other 3D environments and comparing them to OpenSim. I tried High Fidelity recently, my curiosity was so great that I even loaded Windows onto one of my computers to try it out, (I was being lazy, and didn’t fancy going to the bother of compiling it for my usual Linux). I wasn’t blown away by the experience, and much of it seemed to me to be counter-intuitive, and I wasn’t all that impressed with the graphics – but then I was using it on sub-par hardware, in that I didn’t have the recommended Nvidia GTX 970, which currently retail at around £240 in the UK. Not the most expensive graphics card, to be sure, but more than a casual user would be prepared to part with for something that will most probably be a niche interest long term, and maybe a bit of a fad in the shorter term. I’m still sceptical that VR will be as big as is being hyped, and I believe that it will prove to be just another flash in the pan fad. I appreciate that it will have it’s enthusiasts and that it will prove extremely useful for some niche applications, but I can’t see that it will be more than that… Though perhaps this isn’t the place to spout such heresy!.

    I had to smile when I took a look at the ‘rival’ platform site, Protosphere. Being strictly Windows wasn’t a good start, but they could perhaps have not gone so overboard on showing the logos of all those corporate sponsors – I think that perhaps having Homeland Security proudly displayed as one of your corporate sponsors would be more than enough to give the platform the kiss of death. The fact that it runs on Windows, with a direct line to the CIA and by association to GCHQ (British Intelligence surveillance centre) would be enough to put people off, but adding Homeland Security would just ensure people stayed away in crowds. Also, I noticed that BP were corporate sponsors, which I found surprising in that I thought that BP were more or less pariahs in the USA after the Gulf of Mexico fiasco.

    I’m sure we’ll see many more 3D platforms aimed at the corporate market come and go, but I think that OpenSim will probably outlive most of them. I often wonder if the corporate world these kinds of things are aimed at will survive as a concept for that much longer, but then I may have overdosed a little on Noam Chomsky, but big corporations do seem to me to be somewhat like the large dinosaurs that dominated the planet until that meteorite struck.