Avaya Partners ‘Cautiously Optimistic’ About Cloud Office

Avaya's Jim Chirico on stage at Avaya Engage 2020 in Phoenix, Feb. 3.

… a unique opportunity to add a very sticky revenue stream and very little churn.”

Zane Long, RingCentral’s senior vice president of global channel sales, also is at Engage and said his company’s price parity program will apply to Avaya Cloud Office, which means when there are two partners in the same opportunity with a single customer, “we always present to that customer parity in pricing from both entities.”

RingCentral's Zane Long

RingCentral’s Zane Long

“What this does is it allows for each of the partners that are involved to have the same opportunity to use other than pricing to drive that, so we don’t give favored pricing to either of the partners in that scenario,” he said. “It’s a very powerful program that we’ve developed and it creates a situation where the customer’s not confused.”

Long said since Avaya has a broader global reach, “we’ll gain access to [more] countries, and we’ll all benefit from that with their relationships they have in those markets, with partners in those markets and customers in those markets.”

Chirico said Avaya is one of the most profitable companies in business communications. Last year, it achieved a $750 million cash balance, invested more than $300 million in technology and reduced its debt by $250 million. Its debt load now stands at just above $3 billion.  Avaya also is repurchasing $500 million in shares, he said.

Avaya “lost its way a little” on innovation and re-emphasized that last year, Chirico said. It increased spending on R&D, intensified its efforts in the cloud, and expanded its product and solutions portfolio, he said.

In addition, Avaya focused on building out its strategic partnerships with industry leaders like AWS, Verizon, AT&T, Salesforce, Microsoft, Google and IBM Watson.

“We have never been in a better position to empower enterprise,” Chirico said. “This is absolutely a great time to be part of this company.”

Bryan Dancer, president and CEO of Allegiant Networks, said he’s planning to take a “wait and see” approach to Avaya Cloud Office. Allegiant has been an Avaya partner since 2004 and it predominantly covers the SMB segment with the company.

“Being first isn’t always the right way to go,” he said. “We’re going to see how [Avaya Cloud Office] materializes over the next six to eight months.”

Kenneth Heitner, president and CEO of Consolidated Technologies, also an Avaya partner, said Avaya’s goals for 2020 “were all good stuff.” He’s also looking forward to getting more details regarding Avaya Cloud Office and “exactly the timeline and how that’s going to provide integrations we need.”

“I think we’re cautiously optimistic,” he said.

Heitner also is looking forward to learning how Avaya is investing more on technology innovation.

“I think that Avaya has always been viewed as a leader and over the last few years the analyst industry has questioned that, and I think that if these innovations and this investment is what they say it will be, it’s a well-needed shot to bring us back to being the visionaries and the leaders,” he said. “The last few years, there’s been a lot of noise about Avaya’s future, so I think it’s important that they’re investing in it. We didn’t get a lot of the details, but when we see the details, hopefully they’ll live up to the expectations.”

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