Metaphorically, Avaya gets the onion award. There are so many layers to this company. Actually, about 10. Let’s try:
- Legacy: There’s a ton of old blue (Nortel) and red (Avaya) out there – I still run into Merlins.
- Tech powerhouse: I think it’s fair to say modern telephony was invented by Avaya (or its parents). Tons of innovation dating back to Bell Labs – very familiar with the patent process.
- Voice and UC – telephone endpoints (hard and soft).
- Contact Center – many of the largest and most advanced contact centers in the world are based on solutions from Avaya.
- SMB-Enterprise – IP Office was initially for small business, but has worked it’s way up to mid market. Aura is for enterprises – many of the largest companies in the world use systems from Avaya.
- Video – acquired RADVISION some time ago. Lots of video technologies – IMS and SIP solutions that support voice and video.
- Networking – the startup within the giant.
- International – Available globally with leading market share in N. America.
- Cloud – Not so much public cloud, but strong solutions for enabling private cloud and service providers
- Glue – Avaya is building its middleware angle with both EDP and its Esna acquisition. Invisible technology that makes things work.
Not a bad list and not even complete which is why an onion isn’t a bad metaphor – (actually a red onion is even better)
Each one of these categories has a lot to it. Strong and well known is contact center – some of the largest contact centers in the world lie to us about the importance of our calls with technology from Avaya. Strong and not so well known is the fabric networking story. Part of the reason it isn’t known is because Avaya doesn’t always buy bragging rights. For example, you can get in trouble for claiming success at networking an event like the Superbowl without paying royalties, so they don’t make such claims. The networking story has lots of layers to it – kind of ironic since one of its benefits is to removes layers (of complexity).
Spending a few days with Avaya is a bit overwhelming. I often plot my notes graphically in a mind-map, but a 2D map just was not sufficient. The event was the Avaya Executive Partner Forum – what insiders refer to as AEPF. In addition to a fire hose of content (like a kickoff session that went four hours straight without a break), it also included partner of the year awards and keynotes and presentations from the fourth floor including Kennedy, Barnett, Turgeon, (M) Nezarati, Lucey, Philonenko, Biondi, and more. It’s basically everything you wanted to know about Avaya plus more.
It was a hard 2Pager to write. Should you download (all 2Pagers are free) please appreciate how many layers are consolidated into 2 pages.