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.’
What can partners and customers expect from Avaya during your first year at the helm?
It’s obvious to me that Avaya has a tremendous opportunity for success, yet its past performance at times has been challenged financially. So, when I think about this first year, I want to make tangible steps to realize that success. And I think there’s lots and lots of low-hanging fruit to do just that. So, making sure that we are optimizing the relationship with our channel partners is a key thing. So, I’m going to be very visible—I’m starting to talk to them now. I’ll be very visible with all our major partners and then all the industry events with our partners to make sure that I’m listening to what their needs are and that we do everything we can to optimize those relationships so we can collectively serve our customers best. The second thing is, I have every expectation that we’re going to begin to see really the fruits of some of this road map development work that’s going on. My goal for the customers and for the partners as well is: ‘Here’s a reliable road map,’ and the operative word is ‘reliable.’ The third thing is cultural revitalization. It has already started in terms of creating an environment [that is] open, honest and transparent with everyone, whether it’s internal, external, a customer, a partner, whatever. Let’s recognize what doesn’t work, fix it, and move on. If we can look back 12 months from now and say you have seen meaningful improvement in relationships with partners, meaningful improvement in product, and a meaningful change in culture in general, I think that’s a victory.
We view the relationship with the partners as incredibly important. It’s the lion’s share of our distribution. It creates a massive ecosystem for us. It’s the majority of our revenue across the globe. So, it really is a partnership. So, how do we work together to jointly best serve our collective customers? That’s exactly the way we look at it. My intention is to continue to invest in that and continue to promote those channels relationships. This week I’ve got calls with a bunch of our big channel partners, which is something that I’ve been anxious to do.