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Avaya CEO, Channel Chief On Hybrid Cloud Opportunities And The Next Chapter With Partners

Gina Narcisi

Avaya CEO Alan Masarek and Channel Chief John Lindsley share the company’s aggressive growth strategy, which involves partners helping Avaya’s massive install base migrate to hybrid cloud products at their own pace and the channel program updates that partners can expect as the company moves past its recent financial struggles.

Avaya’s new CEO Alan Masarek
Avaya’s new CEO Alan Masarek

No Disruption Necessary `

Avaya’s new leaders have a message for partners: The company is ready to turn the page on its recent fiscal struggles and take back its leadership position in the business communications and collaboration space through a hybrid cloud strategy – something that the unified communications (UC) giant is “uniquely qualified” to deliver to customers all over the globe.

Avaya’s new CEO Alan Masarek and Vice President of North America Channels John Lindsley last week met with the company’s partner community council to talk direction and strategy for Avaya. Partners were armed with questions following a change in leadership, a substantial earnings miss, and cost-cutting measures, which resulted in a round of layoffs for Avaya this summer. But they were also enthusiastic for the future as the two executives shared the company’s new key tenants -- building the predominantly cloud products that customers want to buy partners want to sell. That will entail a combination of Avaya’s newer UCaaS and contact center as-a-service (CCaaS) offerings to the cloud-forward customers, as well as its flagship premises-based UC solutions for those customers that require control, with a layer of cloud over the top for omnichannel, contact center functionality.

Durham, N.C.-based Avaya is focused on returning to innovation and tapping into its massive base of enterprise customers to move them to a hybrid cloud model. The company doesn’t see itself in the same category as the pure play cloud UC providers who can’t accommodate premise-based needs or customers on a slower cloud migration journey. Instead, Avaya is bringing cloud functionality over the top of premise-based infrastructure to offer “innovation without disruption,” a strategy that is resonating with the company’s massive install base of global enterprise customers, the executives said.

Masarek and Lindsley sat down with CRN following the partner community council to share its new channel strategy, the focus on working alongside partners and what the channel can expect. What follows are excerpts from the conversation.

 
Gina Narcisi

Gina Narcisi is a senior editor covering the networking and telecom markets for CRN.com. Prior to joining CRN, she covered the networking, unified communications and cloud space for TechTarget. She can be reached at gnarcisi@thechannelcompany.com.

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