EMC has joined forces with Avaya to release enterprise collaboration tools -- designed using virtualization technology from VMware -- that include a combined hardware-software stack that can provide unified communication to up to 12,000 users per rack. The partnership -- which one analyst called "the next logical step for Avaya's collaboration pod" -- led to some speculation among industry observers that EMC's long-standing affiliation with Avaya rival Cisco could be in jeopardy.

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