Avaya discusses the impact of a radical shift in strategy for tech firms

Savio Tovar Dias is the senior director of sales engineering for theMiddle East, Africa, Asia and the Pacific markets at Avaya.

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Avaya discusses the impact of a radical shift in strategy for tech firms Dias: "In the UAE, where digitally-savvy customers expect the best service - delivered at their pace - compromise is not an option."
By  Savio Tovar Dias Published  October 16, 2017

Ever since CEO Elon Musk announced in February that Tesla is coming to the UAE, there's been a considerable buzz of anticipation. Nevertheless, in a country where there's not exactly a shortage of high-end models, it's hard at first glance to see how Tesla would stand out from the crowd. Until you get behind the steering wheel.

Technology companies are going to need that sort of radical shift in mind-set to help them meet customer preferences that are changing faster than ever before. The development conversation is moving on from just features and functions. Companies today are trying to address real use cases and user needs.

In the UAE, where digitally-savvy customers expect the best service - delivered at their pace - compromise is not an option.  Especially for the region's communications industry, traditional product development cycles of several years aren't going to cut it in future.

Drawing a parallel to Tesla, the company's recent popularity goes beyond just adding some attractive features to a luxury car, or even making it more economical to run. Tesla delivers an entirely different value proposition to a conventional gas-guzzling vehicle. That shows in its performance, the economics of running it, and, inevitably, in the experience of driving it.

For many of us in the technology sector, taking a fundamentally new approach to customer and team engagement has been essential to our survival. At Avaya, for instance, we have recognised the need to shift from being a communications company to a software company, providing the flexibility that our customers require. To be able to deliver solutions that create value for our customers, we choose to transform towards a Tesla-inspired model.

The result is managing an organization that is wholly case-driven. This means that each activity is defined by the customer, with solutions built on open platforms and unlimited scope for customisation and methods of deployment. Under this model, the value an organisation brings to its customers is defined by them.

And that potential value is significant, indeed. Digital contribution to the Middle East economy is still low compared with global benchmarks, with the region lagging behind in its share of ICT companies and number of unicorns, according to McKinsey. Today citizens themselves are leading the Middle East's digitisation charge.

With the technology sector also increasingly competitive, it is critical for organisations to be able to tailor their solutions to every customer touchpoint - all based on what the end user wants. Moreover, the key to commercial success for our sector will be the rethinking of entire industry categories, combined with the ability to deliver game-changing propositions to customers in the same way that Tesla has done in the automotive field.

Savio Tovar Dias, senior director of sales engineering, Middle East, Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Avaya.

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