Avaya: Digitise your customers to keep them yours
By Digital News Asia March 7, 2019
- The company had spent US$150 million improving their core products in 2018
- Avaya OneCloud, is available in nine APAC countries, including Malaysia, Singapore
"HELP digitise your customers" – that’s the message Nidal Abou-Ltaif (pic), Avaya International president is telling their partners to maintain and grow the company’s Contact Centre (CC) and Unified Communication Solution (UCS) business.
At the recent Avaya Partner's conference held in Bangkok Abou-Ltaif noted that Avaya currently has a worldwide customer base of more than 100 million that needs to be nurtured. "This 100 million, our competition wants it. And only way to keep it is to modernise it."
Abou-Ltaif also told partners to expect a long haul in their quest to modernise. "Customers who tried to take digital transformation or automation as a one-time project - they failed," he said. "But if we take it as a journey, ongoing and non-stop, then they are excelling."
Although the talk is about Avaya leading the way forward, it is obvious that this quest for modernisation is a result of external pressure rather than intrinsic magnanimity.
"The majority of our customers are really pushing us and helping us innovate," Abou-Ltaif noted, while admitting on the side that their customers are now being approached by third-party cloud solutions and AI specialists. "If you don't modernise, these newcomers will replace you," him grimly pointed out.
US$150 million to strengthen the core
How much is this drive to modernise worth to Avaya? Abou-Ltaif shared with the audience that the company had spent US$150 million (RM611.41 million) improving their core products in 2018.
"We are investing in our core, to modernise it, to digitise it, and to protect our customer base, to protect their investment, and most importantly, digitise their operations with the minimum of interruption."
He proudly added, "All of our competition want a piece of that core".
Abou-Ltaif also talked about how the strategic decision years ago to turn Avaya into a software company meant they were now able to be part of the API Economy. "That gave us an opportunity to build an open platform," he pointed out.
It is on this open platform that he hopes the partners will utilise to create customised (even "bespoke") solutions that will keep their customers coming back to them.
"You have to evolve yourself from being a business partner who is a reseller to becoming a real partner," he stressed. "A real partner means you have to help us and help yourself to grow in the business by developing application through APIs".
A new cloud solution for new innovation
These opportunities are there to be taken if they can persuade customers to move their Avaya solutions to the cloud. Not only will it be easier to manage and maintain customised solutions, Avaya also intends to persuade customers to adopt innovation gradually, like adding layers to the core product.
This is what drives the announcement of their new private cloud delivery model called Avaya OneCloud solutions. In APAC, it is currently available in Australia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.
"Cloud is nothing to scare you," Abou-Ltaif maintained, adding that many customers who want to innovate are ready to make the move. "What stopped them from innovating is complexity, (and the) cloud removes complexity.”