28 January 2018
As we set off to attend the Avaya Engage event in New Orleans next week, focus is back on the new and improved version of the comms market leader. Unlike last year, the Avaya name is back in the headlines for all the right reasons.
Having exited Chapter 11 in December and now trading shares on the New York stock Exchange, Avaya appears to be out of therapy and immediately getting down to what it does best – innovation.
With a new CEO, new CFO, new management team, new cloud software unit and increased spending on R&D, Avaya has truly entered a new era promising a dynamic and exciting future.
No doubt acquisitions and divestments will follow, along with new shareholders, causing a few after-shocks but nothing compared to the seismic shift experienced in 2017. To the contrary, the business now appears to be stable and in the safe hands of Jim Chirico who inspires confidence in a partner network that has been the target of some pretty ferocious propaganda from Avaya competitors.
Of course, there has been some collateral damage for Avaya over the past year. Partners have been duty-bound to protect the interests of their loyal customers during a period of uncertainty and some have pulled the plug on Avaya. Some of our clients have adopted a rip-and-replace mentality but, more often, we’ve encouraged them to consider a more planned approach to getting value from their existing Avaya investment.
For some clients, where mitigation of risks surrounding Avaya’s circumstances has been a matter of due diligence, we’ve taken what we think are more constructive measures. These include integrating legacy Avaya with other vendor systems or migrating some services to the cloud in a hybrid arrangement. Alternatively, where businesses have high residual value in their existing Avaya infrastructure, our technical consultants have devised contingencies for support and maintenance until planned replacement at ‘end-of-life’ in the longer term.
With the risks of the past year now subsiding, all these businesses are now well positioned to continue a replacement strategy or to consolidate back to Avaya and capitalise on the exciting, new products being promised. Another positive outcome is that our clients have seen the immense value of integration skills, particularly at a time when collaboration solutions designed for the modern workplace are high on the boardroom agenda.