Avaya talks change at tech forum

Company highlights technology choices at hand allowing organisations to transform operations faster

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Avaya talks change at tech forum Ltaif: We are committed to the open standard with the flexibility that offers.
By  David Ndichu Published  April 29, 2015

Avaya brought the message of change to its Avaya Technology Forum (ATF) with hundreds of partners and customers meeting in Dubai at the end of March this year.

According to Nidal Abou-Ltaif, president for growth markets for Avaya, the company itself as an entity is going through immense changes as market dynamics shift. "What I'm telling our partners and customers is that as the market demands shift, so are customer demands that are then pushing these organisations to respond," Ltaif said. 

Change is many times resisted especially when new technology is implemented, Ltaif observes. Avaya, Ltaif adds, is there to provide these organisations with choices, for instance fabric or SDN, which allows them to transform their operations faster.

Ltaif also reiterated Avaya's commitment to the open standard with flexible solutions that allow customers to work with any other vendor that they choose and then fit Avaya's solution for purpose. "We do not approach the market with a one-size-fits-all approach-we address the mid-market properly and then the enterprise with specific set of solutions," Ltaif adds.

At this year's ATF, the entire Avaya solution stable was on showcase with a hands-on experience set-up of the company's solutions. "Our partners and customers can see and feel the technology live as it's all connected and live," says Ltaif. "We brought to the event technology experts from all over the world, from countries such as Australia, US, Canada etc. These are the people who either develop the products or are very experienced with the subject matter in their domain."

Avaya is keen to enhance its core offerings of fabric, team engagement, the call centre and UC. Around these solutions, Ltaif says, Avaya is working with mobility and the cloud in addition to the company's professional services. "At the event, we were able to highlight some customers who have chosen Avaya and how we impacted their businesses positively, with examples from China, Russia, India, Middle East and Africa," Ltaif says.

In a way, Avaya is going back to its roots. 

When Avaya spin off from Lucent, the company was doing it all, from cabling to telephony, and wireless. With time, Avaya sold the wireless and cabling business and dissolved the networking to concentrate on telephony and call centre solutions. Eventually, the company moved to UC, CC and services. The current focus began when Avaya acquired Nortel, Ltaif observes from which Avaya gained great heritage in networking. "We have now built specialist teams as well as training all our specialists in the Global Growth Markets (GGM). Today, we have trained every account manager that meets the customer and they are able to talk about the full stack of Avaya.  We are gaining momentum with big customers and today we have practically a fabric installation every day," says Ltaif.

The newly-launched certification, ACE-Fx, is part of the findings of what Avaya has discovered in the field. When installing the fabric technology, Ltaif says, people find it hard to believe the simplicity of it all as they are used to the traditional, and more intricate, MPLS solutions.  "We wanted to bring this certification to help partners migrate based on the ease of technology as well as the fact that the future of technology is in Fabric. They need to be aware of the cost reduction, ease of doing business and the ease of operating fabric. The certification will thus help them and give them choice. It will also help us create more awareness, and build a loyal new generation of customers now coming up. " 

Moving forward, Avaya continues to focus on the mid-market as well as the fabric networking solution, the fastest growing area of the business, Ltaif says. "We have for instance been awarded a major deal to upgrade the private cloud offering for Reliance of India among other major ongoing projects. We are also going to all our contact centres and upgrading them to the future, like contact centre with video, or with voice. This is the direction we are headed, and which is all wrapped with our professional services. Our professional services operations are booming because of the complexity of many of the installations we are integrating."

In the Middle East, Avaya recently opened an office in Qatar, and are in the process of opening one in Bahrain, and Kuwait. Most of Africa is covered as the company follows major African operator Airtel into these countries.
 

Ltaif says that Africa one the biggest growing markers with organisations keen to adopt the newest technology whether in call centres, UC or fabric especially for segments such as banking, government and service providers. "Consumers are pushing these organisations to adopt these technologies but one common thread is that the people in Africa are very hungry to use technology," Ltaif says.  

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