Analysts are keeping a close eye on Avaya now that it is a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and has left behind its chapter 11 bankruptcy.
On Wednesday, the company rang the opening bell to celebrate its NYSE listing. Last month, Avaya emerged from chapter 11 bankruptcy with about $350 million in cash and a little less than half the debt it had when it filed last January.
“Building upon our history of innovation and expertise in deploying globally scalable solutions, Avaya sits today at the strategic nexus of connectivity for the enterprise-with more than 130,000 customers in 220,000 locations worldwide, 90 percent plus of the Fortune 100, and more than 100 million users,” said Jim Chirico, Avaya’s president and CEO. “Avaya is also the largest pure-play unified communications and contact center provider in the cloud. We have unparalleled opportunities ahead of us.”
Gary Levy, Avaya’s vice president of U.S. channels, said the increased exposure that goes along with being a public company will directly benefit partners in their day-to-day activities in selling to customers.
“And with our Engage event coming up in two weeks, it will resonate down to the partner community the dedication and the great opportunity they have with Avaya,” he said.
“Overall, this is good news in terms of keeping a storied brand in the game, and everyone will be watching to see if all their hard work to reinvent the company will pay off,” he said. “They may be smaller now, but with a clean slate and solid financials, Avaya seems well-positioned to compete in a market that is moving quickly and being reshaped by strong, innovative players. There’s little margin for error, and we should learn fairly quickly if their vision will succeed.”
It’s a good time for Avaya to be rethinking its approach to cloud UC, said Brian Riggs, principal analyst of unified communications at Ovum.
“It’s main competitors – Cisco and Microsoft – have a more visible role in the market and haven’t been burdened by the financial issues that have been dogging Avaya,” he said. “But both companies are in the process of making significant changes to their portfolios. For Microsoft it’s the transition to Teams, and for Cisco it’s the pending Broadsoft acquisition. Avaya’s approach to the cloud has likewise been changeable, but there’s still time for it to tweak it’s strategy and portfolio as its competitors do the same with theirs.”
Going forward, Avaya will need more than organizational and management changes to revitalize its position in the cloud market, Riggs said.
“It needs to demonstrate significant uptake of the various Zang applications, and show that its partners have growing customer adoption of the hosted UC services they’ve built on the IP Office cloud platform,” he said.
Michael Finneran, industry analyst and Channel Partners contributor, said Avaya now is in better shape to gain market share.
“Their biggest success was keeping hold of their customer base during their ‘trials and tribulation,’ but they pulled that off, so they’re back in the game,” he said. “Their key assets going forward are their UC and contact-center businesses, the latter being a stronger offering given their long-term market presence and businesses’ increased emphasis on customer engagement.”
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