2017 was clearly an interesting year for Avaya. In January 2017, Avaya announced their intent to restructure their debt from several years of overpriced acquisitions and lack luster decision making.
Avaya announced they would file for Chapter 11 to facilitate that restructuring. There’s no question the 2017 IAUG Engage Conference in Las Vegas had a gloom and doom feeling. That feeling was also echoed by the low attendance and frank conversations from customers starting to talk about their Plan B. Fortunately for our Arrow SI customers, they had comfort in knowing Arrow’s balance sheet and quarter or quarter results making them a Fortune 118 company. For any other VAR, it took its financial toll resulting in several significant consolidations.
While there was no degradation in quality, customers continued to wait for Avaya’s restructuring plan. Finally in August, plans officially started coming out. Kevin Kennedy was replaced with Jim Chirico, as CEO, and they announced their intent to emerge as a publicly traded company on the NYSE. In November 2017, Avaya announced the court had officially confirmed the Avaya Plan of Reorganization, clearing the way for Avaya to emerge from Chapter 11. Then, completing that process, they did become publicly traded company (NYSE:AVYA) in January 2018.
Compared to the previous year, the 2018 Avaya ENGAGE conference, last month, had a much different vibe. Attendance was a record high. Given the conference location was New Orleans, partners, customers and analysts were all ready to celebrate. All in all, the conversations were positive with an optimistic outlook.
Loyal customers are ready to move forward. Discussions of modernizing and embracing their own plans for Digital Transformation. To add to the enthusiasm, Avaya announced a signed definitive agreement to acquire Spoken. Spoken has gained significant traction in public, multi-tenant cloud, powered by Avaya’s technology. A powerful middleware layer gives customers the characteristics and benefits of a public cloud architecture, while offering all of the industry leading capabilities inherent in Avaya’s technology. Avaya also announced new cloud services that traditionally had been only an on-prem delivery. A great example of this is Avaya’s announcement of Equinox Meetings Online. Equinox Conferencing, built from the innovations of Avaya Aura Conferencing and SCOPIA, now delivers a completely flexible consumption model with no capital expenditure requirements. This key messaging left customers with choice in their consumption decisions of Avaya products and technology. Partners like Arrow SI, will now benefit in the simplification of the model and provide the best model to fit your business needs.
The timing of this, coupled with customers wanting alternative choices, has given positive buzz and confidence about Avaya. There is no better time than now to recommend Avaya as a enterprise platform. You can plan to see promotions and simplified pricing taking cycles out of your procurement process. Best yet, this competitive marketplace will bring new product innovations from many OEMs.
About the Author
Vice President, Strategy and TechnologyMore Content by David Lover
David Lover leads the strategy for our core Enterprise Communications portfolio. He focuses on products and solutions to address the customer needs of Unified Communications and Collaboration, Customer Experience, CEBP, and End-User Adoption.
David works closely with the product marketing and development teams of our top partners to understand their strategy, and while representing Arrow SI and their customers, collaborate with those teams to provide guidance and feedback to shape the future direction of those partners’ portfolios. He uses these relationships and set of product knowledge to work with Arrow Systems Integration teams to be in alignment with the total portfolio strategy. As a member of Arrow Systems Integrations executive leadership team, he works with every part of the business.