New CEO Alan Masarek: ‘Avaya’s Opportunity For Future Success Is Stronger Than Its Past Performance’
The former Vonage CEO and Avaya’s new leader opened up his playbook for the unified communications powerhouse with CRN that includes a focus on cloud, cultivating transparent relationships with partners and customers and an internal ‘cultural revitalization.’
Is the focus for the company right now on cloud and converting its large base of enterprise customers to cloud-based solutions to return to growth?
It’s certainly the focus to continue to get CAPS [Cloud, Alliance Partner and Subscription revenue] to grow. Whether you bring in new customers on subscription or convert existing customers to subscription; we’ll continue to move our product into more and more of a cloud product, so now, it’s not just changing the revenue model to subscription, it’s changing the underlying product to what our large customers want and expect from us. So, again, the beauty here is that we’re several years into doing that.
There’s plenty of room [to move legacy enterprise customers into cloud]. There’s private cloud [the business] is hosting, there’s us hosting private cloud, and then there’s a true multitenant cloud solution. A lot of the noise in our industry in recent years have been around multitenant solutions. The largest of the large enterprises and governmental agencies have been slower to adopt [cloud] for a whole host of reasons, like security, so it’s given us a window to develop it in a smarter way that hits our customer set where they need it since many of them are not yet ready to go fully to some multitenancy cloud solution. But over time, those trends are going to accelerate. If you take an on-prem architecture and all you do is move it to a subscription revenue model, that’s the bottom piece of the layer the cake, then you go to a private cloud that the customer hosts, then a private cloud that we host and then ultimately, to a multi-tenant solution, there’s all sorts of add-ons that come in as you go on that progression. I think we’re still really early innings with this with our customer base.
Is there any room to offload some of the customization work that Avaya does for some large enterprise customers to partners?
There definitely is. I’ve had some very preliminary conversations about [this]. Frequently, there’s a partner who’s down the street from a particular customer and there’s work that needs to be done that they’re clearly better suited for compared to us. So, I want to make sure that we focus on what we do well and scale the projects that we can do well, and make sure that we partner with our partners for them to do their part —it’s good for their business [and] it’s good for our business. Most importantly, it’s the best answer for a good customer. The North Star is what’s in the best interest of that customer.