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BLOG: Could Avaya be the Apple of enterprises?

Zafar Anjum | Oct. 24, 2011
Avaya, one of the top players in the Asia Pacific region in unified communications (UC) and contact centre (CC) solutions business, seems set to turn a new leaf.

Avaya, one of the top players in the Asia Pacific region in unified communications (UC) and contact centre (CC) solutions business, seems set to turn a new leaf.

Addressing about 200 representatives of Avaya's Asia Pacific (AP) channel partners in Bangkok on Wednesday (19 October), Joel Hackney, Avaya's senior vice president, global sales and marketing, and president, field operations, tomtomed the arrival of a 'New Avaya'.

What is this new Avaya? According to Hackney, the 'New Avaya' brand promises "faster, smarter, and better" collaboration to get the best ideas first in the market. Avaya stands for the power of team work, the power of we, he said, referring to the "Accelerating Growth: The Power of We" motto of the Bangkok conference.

"We cannot fall in love with the formula of the past," he said. He pointed out that what worked for Avaya in the past should not make the company and its partners complacent. Hackney says Avaya now has to focus on winning solutions-video collaboration, mobile collaboration and network simplification.

To his channel partners, the new Avaya's message is simple-don't sell products, sell value. "Value selling makes more money any day," Hackney said. And stay motivated, he told Avaya's channel partners.

At the same event, Brett Shockley, senior vice president, corporate development and strategy, Avaya, spoke of "innovation as the key to change customer conversation". One of the company's key innovations is the SIP-based Avaya Aura that provides one click, no apps required video service. Besides Aura, the company came out with nearly 60 innovative products last year, so much so that its channel partners found it difficult to cope with the new releases.

Alan Baratz, senior vice president and president, global communications solutions, Avaya, said in Bangkok that three years ago, Avaya took the leadership path in its industry and made a bold move from VoIP to SIP. The strategy has worked for Avaya as it facilitates true 'UC'-it provides real time communications and reduces the total cost of ownership.

Rumours about Avaya IPO?

Avaya made steady progress as a company (in 2007, a combination of Silver Lake Partners and the Texas Pacific Group paid $8.2 billion for the company) but after acquiring the networking hardware division of Nortel in 2009, it took the game to a new level.

After the Nortel acquisition, the biggest hurdle for Avaya was overcoming Nortel customers' fears that stemmed from a year of uncertainty they faced due to Nortel's bankruptcy. That hurdle now seems to have been crossed.

Avaya has been growing fast in all markets, and spectacularly so in Asia. For example, just look at the company's growth in India. It is grown from three cities to 16 cities. Growth in China and Japan is also phenomenal. Avaya is opening offices in Bangladesh soon.


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