Avaya CEO Talks Competition, Debt, Innovation
Avaya is pushing a new range of unified communications products, but is finding that managed services are becoming more popular among its customers who would rather turn over complex UC transitions to someone else for a predictable monthly fee, says the company's CEO Kevin Kennedy.
Thu, March 28, 2013
Network World — Avaya is pushing a new range of unified communications products, but is finding that managed services are becoming more popular among its customers who would rather turn over complex UC transitions to someone else for a predictable monthly fee, says the company's CEO Kevin Kennedy.
In a recent interview with Network World Senior Editor Tim Greene, Kennedy also talks about the impact of browser-based communications capabilities in WebRTC, the rise of applications teams in making UC decisions and his company's race with Cisco and Microsoft for dominance.
Here is a transcript of that conversation:
Avaya recently made some service provider announcements. How will these benefit business customers?
No.1 I think the major trend that we're playing into is the capX opX trend, and within our company we have a spectrum of ways of going to market and serving that trend. The first one that I spoke about that is one of our fastest growing pieces is managed services. This is a customer - say a pharmaceutical company - that says we would like to outsource our voice network or even our data network to you. So we developed a number of years ago - I spent $25 or $30 million to have a system that would allow us to manage that network remotely or from the cloud, if you will. That's one piece, we've been in market for maybe two years. Again total contract value there is - I think on our last conference call we talked about $750 million or so over about an 18-month period.
The second is really a host of capabilities whether it's video in the cloud, contact center in the cloud and UC in the cloud. The latter two were enabled by one, getting our products virtualized although we began that process in November most recently in the contact center this month. We began to incubate those service offerings with service providers in different parts of the U.S. and Europe as well as when we bought the RADVISION asset we had a number of service providers that had become hosted service providers for low-bandwidth, high-def video. Today's announcement was really to say that we've been through this gestation process, we are in market with a number of different service offerings. The obvious ones would be UC and CC. We have a very low-end UC offering and then we also have video. For the most part whether it's a customer wanting us to migrate them or for us to start a new service with a new entry point as a cloud there's multiple capex to opex models to be chosen. Today's was a very important announcement relative to that latter piece.