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Avaya Doubles Down on Cloud, Advancing Technologies

Avaya CEO Jim Chirico on stage at Avaya Engage 2019 in Austin, Texas, Jan. 21

(Pictured above: Avaya CEO Jim Chirico on stage at Avaya Engage 2019 in Austin, Texas, Jan. 21.)

AVAYA ENGAGE — A year into its 18-month turnaround, Avaya has the right strategy in place, is making the right investments and plans to invest more, including doubling down on investing in cloud research and development.

That’s a big part of the message conveyed to the nearly 2,500 attendees, including partners and customers, at this week’s Avaya Engage 2019 in Austin, Texas. Some 43 countries are represented at the conference.

A year ago, Avaya was fresh out of chapter 11 bankruptcy. President and CEO Jim Chirico said 2018 was the first chapter of improving his company’s trajectory as a business.

Earlier this month, Avaya unveiled a series of enhancements to its Edge partner program, designed to eliminate complexity and stimulate cloud sales.

“We wanted to get back to basic … to focus on simplicity and not boil the ocean,” Chirico said. “We unleashed their creativity, passion and drive. The company has transformed into a customer-led, customer-driven company.”

We recently compiled a list of 20 top UCaaS providers offering products and services via channel partners.

Previously, Avaya was further away from customers’ needs, and “in many ways missed the mark,” he said.

“We had this company, and were more focused around build it and they will come,” Chirico said. “That doesn’t work in this environment. You told us we needed to change, so we did.”

Avaya’s three key messages are: being customer-led in everything it does; simplification, including streamlining its solutions portfolio; and converging unified communications (UC) and contact center (CC).

“[Being] the envy of the industry separates us from the pack,” Chirico said. “No one else can deploy a 50,000-seat call center … [and] a 100,000-seat private cloud. Our coverage includes 4,000 people in field … and 4,700 partners — they’re a force multiplier.”

Chirico said for 2019, Avaya is focused on four key priorities:

  • Continuing its investment in its core UC and CC, including leveraging new technologies with partners.
  • Delivering new technologies, driving “significant value and differentiation.”
  • Providing breadth and depth around its cloud.
  • Emphasizing its services capabilities, including helping organizations transition to cloud and accelerating value for technology investments.

Our brand today, our technology today, have never been stronger,” Chirico said. “Our core and essence remains.”

Gaurav Passi, president of Avaya’s cloud business group, said the company achieved $330 million in fiscal year 2018 cloud-subscription revenue with 3,600 customers.

We have a lot of work today,” he said. “By 2021, we’re looking at 25 percent of Avaya revenue coming from cloud. That’s a big number — [yet] it’s not about revenue, but transforming those seats.”

Avaya introduced a new private-cloud delivery model of its Avaya OneCloud solutions for UCaaS and CCaaS. The new Avaya OneCloud ReadyNow private cloud offerings feature preconfigured, per-seat consumption and standard bundles of both UCaaS and CCaaS, the company said.

Cloud revenue encompassed 11-12 percent of overall revenue in 2018. Private cloud will play a significant role in moving larger customers to a cloud solution, therefore reaching the goal of $800 million in cloud revenue by 2021, Chirico said.

If Avaya is able to move 10 percent of its 145 million UC and CC installed seats to cloud over the next three years, that represents …

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