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Stalking The New Avaya: CEO Kennedy Covers The Bases

In an exclusive interview with CRN, Avaya CEO Kevin Kennedy offers his vision for the Avaya of tomorrow, not only as a channel company, but also as a cloud player, a strong competitor to the likes of Cisco and Microsoft and, eventually, a public company again.

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Kevin Kennedy Checks In

Kevin Kennedy became CEO of Avaya in January 2009, and has presided over some of the company's biggest-ever changes: an ongoing retooling of its executive ranks, a complete revamp of its indirect channel strategy, and a blockbuster acquisition of Nortel's former enterprise unit, which meant that a formerly bitter networking competitor is now part of the Avaya umbrella.

With the dynamics of the UC and collaboration space changing rapidly -- and plenty of competition for Avaya both veteran and upstart -- Kennedy has his game face on, and is looking at ways to both grow business and make sure channel partners stay profitable. Kennedy sat down with CRN Networking Editor Chad Berndtson for an exclusive interview at Avaya's recent Americas Partner Conference in Las Vegas, excerpts of which follow.

Photos are courtesy Avaya, taken during Kennedy's opening day keynote address.

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