Avaya has solutions tailored to all business market segments-from small businesses to large multinational enterprises



What is important is to understand the different needs of those customers,
their different buying behaviors, and solutions that are tailored to their
specific needs — delivered via a channel with which they are comfortable

Avaya has recently sold its stake to Essar. What made the company take
this decision?
The sale of our 59 percent stake in AGC Networks will enable
Avaya to drive additional focus on two of its strategic imperatives: the
development of the Avaya business in India and the growth and extension of its
channel coverage model through Avaya’s global channel program, Avaya Connect.
AGC Networks remains a key channel partner of Avaya serving customers in the
Indian and Australian markets. Avaya is focused on delivering fit-for-purpose
communication systems to the enterprise market. We currently enjoy a leadership
position in the unified communications and contact center markets in India and
globally, and have a strong portfolio of data networking solutions and
communications maintenance services.

How important is the Indian market for Avaya? Is it even more important
than China?
India has become a key player in the modern global economy and serves as a
significant global hub for knowledge-based economic activities, both as an
offshoring destination as well as through the growth of indigenous firms. Both
India and China continue to show impressive growth rates, and are leading the
APAC region in driving the global economy out of recession. Both markets are
very significant for Avaya-in terms of business value we generate and as a base
for significant research and development and operational support services. As
Avaya focuses on our clearly stated objective to double APAC revenues in the
next three years, our growth in both countries is vital to achieve that success.

What are your major product offerings in India? Does Avaya have any
specific go-to-market strategy in mind for India?

Avaya provides unified communications, contact centers, data solutions, and
related services. Enterprises of all sizes depend on Avaya for state-of-the-art
communications that improve efficiency, collaboration, customer service and
competitiveness. We offer our entire range of solutions in India. At the heart
of our unified communications solutions is our flagship Avaya Aura platform,
which easily integrates communications across multi-vendor, multi-modal and
multi-location businesses. In the contact center space, our communication
manager portfolio has helped us to a market leading position, and there is
exciting innovation in the contact center arena as the next generation of
context-based interactions will enhance customer service levels further. We have
a strong data portfolio, with recently announced innovation in WLAN, Ethernet
routing switches and advanced gateways that help to reinforce our credentials
for providing efficient, resilient and high-performance networks. And for SMEs,
our IP office portfolio offers a scalable and state-of-the-art solution for
telephony, messaging, networking, conferencing, customer management, and unified
communications.

Avaya’s go-to-market model in India-as elsewhere in the world-is a
‘high-touch channel-centric’ approach. We are transforming to become
channel-centric in every way we do business and drive a significantly greater
portion of our business through the channel. Our global Avaya Connect channel
program, launched earlier this year, is setting the standard as a truly global
program for all our partners. The sale of our stake in AGC Networks outlined
above, helps us to accelerate this channel-centric approach in India.

How many partners does Avaya have worldwide, as well as in India? Do you
wish to expand your existing channel base in India?

Avaya has a network of over 4,000 channel partners, resellers, systems
integrators, distributors and development partners globally. In India, we work
primarily with two major distributors-Beetel and Redington-who also service a
large network of resellers, helping to address the huge SME base in India. Our
principal channel partners are AGC Networks, Wipro, IBM, HCL, Orange Business
Services and HP. Our business model is to drive a vast majority of business
through our channels.

Avaya has always made products for SMBs. So in India, does the company
shift focus to any other segment like the home or the big enterprises?

Avaya has solutions tailored to all business market segments-from small
businesses to large multinational enterprises. What is important is to
understand the different needs of those customers, their different buying
behaviors, and solutions that are tailored to their specific needs-delivered via
a channel which they are comfortable with. We are constantly looking to innovate
with our solutions, to ensure they meet customer needs as precisely as possible.

How much money does the company plan to invest in India in the next one or
two years?
We do not provide specific investment numbers. But as I mentioned, India is
not only an important growth market for Avaya, it is also a very significant
research and development center as part of our global Avaya Labs innovation
organization.

What are Avaya’s future plans for India and the world?
India is an integral part of Avaya’s aggressive plans for our business in
the Asia-Pacific region. As I have said, overall in APAC, our clearly stated
goal is to double our business in three years, starting from when we completed
the NES acquisition. That is quite some growth target.

In India we have an extremely strong base, with a leadership position in the
contact center and unified communications space, and a wealth of data networking
customers. We will drive our business growth strongly through the evolution of
our high-touch, channel-centric business model. As I mentioned earlier, we are
divesting our stake in AGC Networks, which continues to be a platinum channel
partner. Our tier-2 model makes perfect sense-we have a stronger reach and
presence on the ground through our channel partners, while ensuring our own
experts are on hand to provide the Avaya touch that is required. And our growing
services portfolio allows us to work with those partners to provide truly
value-added service to customers.

Avaya is laser focused on driving the next generation of real-time business
communications. We have lots of innovation in the pipeline, and look forward to
a strong growth in India, in APAC and globally over the coming years.

Bharat Sharma
bharats@cybermedia.co.in

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