Avaya Engages the Cloud

Dec 15, 2014

Last week Avaya announced a bevy of new and enhanced products, services and solutions. These were made as a part of a near-comprehensive repositioning by the company. In the effort, Avaya has rebranded its unified communications and collaboration portfolio to Team Engagement Solutions, and its customer interaction portfolio to Customer Engagement Solutions. This is meant to more clearly reflect the company’s aim to “empower people with technology and services to communicate effectively and effortlessly in the workplace – with each other and with customers”. The concepts revolve around the notion that employees must be better engaged with one another, their work and their tools to foster more engaged relationships with their customers.

Avaya’s rebranding is accompanied by a strengthened portfolio of enhanced, new and repositioned cloud solutions. Highlights include:

Avaya Private Cloud Services which is comprised of managed services-based solutions for large and global enterprises and government entities.  A gamut of Avaya solutions are sold directly under this offer.

At the Avaya Engages conference last week in Silicon Valley, Avaya spokespeople spent a notable amount of time evangelizing Avaya’s strengths in managed and private cloud services, including its recently expanded partnership with HP which improves Avaya’s managed services footprint. It also enables HP to become the delivery organization to offer a consistent set of Avaya private cloud services worldwide. In my opinion the well-established and deepened partnership is a decent leverage for both companies in their respective relationships with Microsoft, and a unified front to wield against their common foe Cisco.

Avaya Powered Cloud Services references a category of solutions that leverage Avaya technology for partners to power their UCaaS, VaaS and CCaaS programs.  The solutions category is not new, but rebranded and enhanced. For me, the highlight of the enhancements is the addition of partner hosted IP Office, which provides partners with a virtualized, multi-instance platform designed to deliver the telephony, UC, collaboration and call/contact center feature functionality desired by mid-market companies and delivers differentiators such as survivability for CPE implementations and allowing customers to enjoy a variety of hybrid CPE/cloud systems and applications. 

Avaya Branded Cloud Services are those sold direct or through partners based on infrastructure hosted by Avaya. Again, this is not a wholly new initiative from Avaya, but a repositioned and enhanced one. New AvayaLive Video and AvayaLive Contact solutions join existing AvayaLive Connect, Cloud SMA and Engagement Development Platform. As a result, the company now has a full span of partner-enablement offers from development platform to UC to contact center to video. The company can now enable partners that are unable or unwilling to stand up their own infrastructure across the UCC spectrum.

In general I like Avaya’s rebranding and repositioning. The rebranding from UC to engagement may help advanced solutions to better resonate with customers, who industry-wide have not embraced UC at a rate that many had predicted by now. As for repositioning, Avaya has now covered its bases in the cloud arena, with a full range of deployment and consumption models for both customers and partners. For me, the biggest enhancement in Avaya’s cloud strategy is the introduction of AvayaLive Video, which will empower the company and its partner ecosystem to be more competitive in the fast changing and growing services-based video conferencing market.    

But for all the talk about technology I was surprised not to hear more about customers and what all this means about the journey they need to take in order to reap the benefits of these new and enhanced solutions. I’m sure that message is formulated because I caught bits of it, but it was not nearly as prominent as the technology evangelism.  Avaya’s installed base is a strategic imperative for the company. The new Avaya messaging is about enabling customers to achieve better business outcomes. Overall, I think that Avaya’s technology is top notch and its overall portfolio is now more competitive in a services-based future. Yet, there are a lot of alternatives out there. The real test will be whether the new services- and rebranding will be enough to compel existing Avaya customers and net-new ones to test these out against their planned business outcomes.   

Robert Arnold


Sixteen + years of experience in enterprise communications markets. Particular expertise in: Competitive and market intelligence, Market trend analysis and forecasting, Solutions development, marketing, sales and service support strategies.

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