Helping to maximise ICT investment; Avaya talks to Avaya's Mohammed Areff about how customers can ride the economic waves

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Helping to maximise ICT investment; Avaya Mohammed Areff: "The year 2016 was a challenging one across the region, defined by fluctuating oil prices and the ripple effect on the regional economy."
By  Staff Writer Published  January 31, 2017

In the Middle East and Africa region, Avaya is helping public and private-sector organisations achieve their digital transformation objectives, while cutting expenditure. speaks to Mohammed Areff, vice president, Middle East, Africa, and Turkey, Avaya, who highlights how the company is helping its customers ride the economic waves.

What did Avaya see in the Middle East and Africa in 2016?
The year 2016 was a challenging one across the region, defined by fluctuating oil prices and the ripple effect on the regional economy. Even though the larger economies have diversified their economies, there is still a strong reliance on oil in markets such as Saudi Arabia. Other Gulf States have shifted focus, the UAE towards hospitality, and Oman and Qatar towards real-estate growth and development.

With this diversification gaining ground, at Avaya, we focused on solutions that enabled public and private organisations to reduce their overall operating expenditure. We also focused on security. This focus on the right mix of solutions resulted in unmatched customer satisfaction and loyalty, as we helped them build more efficient and secure infrastructure that in turn helped them to be more effective and competitive.

What were your highlights of the year?
We had many highlights across the region. Our networking business reported big double-digit growth, with big investment houses, real-estate companies, and oil & gas companies becoming Avaya networking customers for the first time last year.

We also saw significant interest in cloud, with many customers looking to our cloud service offerings. In the contact centre space, the majority of the installed base in the GCC has been with Avaya. Our customers were coming to us for add-on solutions that would give them competitive advantage and solidify their positions.

What will be the key trends in 2017?
This year, we've already seen a lot of positive optimism in the marketplace. A lot of customers are coming to us with the need to invest in and sustain our businesses. However, how and where they are investing is likely to be change. Customers are looking at what they need for the next three-to-five years, and also for manageable OpEx-based financing options. Avaya solutions such as Equinox, Oceana and Oceanalytics, and Equinox enable us to provide them with lasting value, and they appreciate that.

While we are always looking at how we can leverage emerging technology trends such as artificial intelligence and augmented reality, our focus as a company is to provide the foundational communications platform for our customers. As long as we continue to provide our customers with a solid, scalable, secure communications platform, I believe they will continue to see value in partnering with us.

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