Avaya’s Focus ‘Firmly on Growth’ Post Bankruptcy Protection

Business Growth
Channel Partners' Edward Gately

Edward Gately

Avaya‘s newest vice president plans to ensure that all of the company’s investment in technology directly benefits its partners.

Last week, Avaya appointed Greg Pelton, previously with Polycom, Cisco and Nortel Networks, to vice president of technology strategy, charged with playing a key role in shaping the company’s technology strategy as it continues its transformation into a services and cloud-based UC and contact-center provider.

Avaya's Greg Pelton

Avaya’s Greg Pelton

Pelton returns to Avaya after previously serving as chief technology officer for the company’s government-solutions arm from 2011 to 2014.

Last month, Avaya emerged from chapter 11 bankruptcy as a public company with about $350 million in cash and a little less than half the debt it had when it filed last January.

In November, Avaya unveiled a tighter focus on helping its Edge partners offer UC and contact-center applications as a cloud-based service (UCaaS, CCaaS) to business customers.

In a Q&A with Channel Partners, Pelton talks about his plans in his new role and how much Avaya has changed in his absence.

Channel Partners: What do you want Avaya’s partners to know about you?

Greg Pelton: The most important thing is that I’m here to help. Our industry is going through a lot of changes and our customers are looking to us to help them navigate those changes and provide the best solutions for their employees and customers. This is a tremendous obligation and opportunity for Avaya and our partners. Neither one of us can do this alone, but if we work together, we can grow our businesses and ensure customer success.

CP: Will your role benefit partners in terms of technology? How?

GP: Technology is our lifeblood and it is important that we continue to develop great technology and make it available to our customers. We have a large R&D organization and are spending a significant percentage of our product revenue on R&D. All of that investment should be of benefit to our partners. I will be spending a lot of time helping to prioritize those investments and ensuring that our investments are aligned across our different business areas and market segments. There are emerging technologies like machine learning and Internet of Things (IoT) that are quite relevant to our solutions and can enable significant differentiation. These and other new technologies will influence our strategy and road map.

CP: What are the biggest challenges facing Avaya in terms of strategic growth and technology transformation, and what will be your role in addressing them?

GP: Avaya has faced a number of operational and financial challenges, but those are now firmly in the past and we have emerged from our debt restructuring in a very strong position. Our focus now is firmly on growth, and that growth will come from …

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