It was a pleasure attending the Experience Avaya event at the beautiful Pan Pacific Hotel in Singapore last week. As the company charges forward leaving its Chapter 11 woes behind, it seems Avaya is well poised to achieve a moderate level of growth over the next few quarters. New hardware and software releases as well as focus on R&D will be key areas of development for ensuring revenue growth beyond 2019. So, what’s driving growth and what’s next for the company?
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Under the direction and guidance of CEO Jim Chirico who took on the role in October 2017 and saw the company through its Chapter 11 restructuring only to emerge like a phoenix – Chirico has set a new path and it’s one of trust and empowerment - and it's coming from the top down. No more was that ethos evident than in conversations with Avaya staff who were on the floor at the event and showing off some of the incredible new technologies some of which were making their debut and others slated for release later in the year. Avaya's new tone was also clear during the morning keynotes as the message around empowering people was a foundational component.
Chirico’s direction was echoed by senior staff namely Nidal Abou-Ltaif, President of Avaya International who spoke about the work he’s doing to on-board and educate new, young talent through the Avaya Academy. Abou-Ltaif spoke of the value of trust and empowerment as being core elements in providing better employee experiences that will ultimately lead to better customer experiences. “We have one of the lowest level of attrition in the industry because we do three things; train, empower and coach.”
Touring the conference floor, there was a buzz in the air as a multi-cultural mix of customers, partners and prospects from throughout APAC and ASEAN busily explored Avaya’s various new software and hardware releases through a series of demonstrations. A couple of the highlights were the new Avaya IX Collaboration Unit CU360 a wireless conferencing camera with microphone and speakers which was demonstrated by the team during one of the afternoon sessions and the B109 Personal Conferencing Device which can turn any mobile device into an on-the-go conferencing unit and the device I’ll be adding to my Christmas wish list.
But hardware wasn’t the only area of the business getting attention, Avaya’s latest update of its meeting and conference software Equinox, which the team live demonstrated, was well received. Providing a central point or single view of ‘you’ is what Equinox is all about as it pulls in email, calendars, social, meetings and more into a single view and serves as a fantastic snapshot of your day ahead. It works with Siri and allows users to use voice to set up and start conference calls within the app and it transcribes a record of your meeting which you can review later. The app is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play. Equinox is a small part of Avaya’s focus on providing Unified Communications (UC) and cloud services and it's these services combined with other SaaS products that account for nearly 80% of Avaya's revenues.
With revenues expected to strengthen over the next couple of quarters and the business putting greater focus on UC, cloud and SaaS, as well as building strategic partnerships across the region and globally, Avaya is playing the ‘endgame’ with an aim to round out the year on a high note - with increased revenues. The business seems well positioned to deliver on its profitability promise at this stage and we’ll be eagerly watching to see what comes next. Contact centre customers throughout the region, can rest assured that Avaya is here to stay and its new range of headphones and contact centre software solutions are a good indicator of their desire to remain relevant.