Avaya out to double mid-market business in APAC this year
By Goh Thean Eu March 3, 2014
- Believes it has the right product for the segment, where price and simplicity are key
- Confident lower-priced mid-market solutions won’t cannibalise enterprise segment
AVAYA Inc aims to double its mid-market revenue in Asia Pacific this year, thanks to a suite of new solutions specially designed for the segment.
“This is definitely achievable. The segment is still largely not penetrated,” said Hubert Lee (pic above), Avaya head of unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) and mid-market, Asia Pacific, in an interview with Digital News Asia (DNA) in Kuala Lumpur recently.
Lee said that he spoke to many key decision-makers in the mid-market segment, who agreed that unified communication would be key to their business. However, most of them also admitted that they were not deploying it.
They cited as reasons the cost of rolling out and maintaining such solutions, as well as their complexity, he said.
“This year will [mark] a big change in our focus. We will be focusing on growing the mid-market. The biggest concerns in the past – price and simplicity – have been addressed with our new solutions today,” said Lee.
These mid-market solutions were developed based on Avaya’s experience in developing similar solutions for enterprise customers, he said.
Instead of customised communications and collaborations solutions, which are what it usually has for enterprise customers, the mid-market product is a turnkey solution that has the key features of the company’s enterprise solutions.
By having ‘fit-for-purpose’ solutions, deployment would take weeks instead of months as it would with enterprise customers, he claimed.
In order to double its mid-market segment revenue in Asia Pacific, Avaya would need to leverage on the strengths of its partners, Lee acknowledged.
“We believe that we have the right product. When you have the right product, you can impact the market and get revenue very quickly if you have the right channel to do it,” he said.
Saturated enterprise market?
Lee said that Avaya’s special focus on the mid-market segment this year is not a sign of a weakening enterprise segment.
In fact, its enterprise segment is still showing signs of growth in the long-term, he claimed.
Nevertheless, focusing on mid-market is key for the company's long-term roadmap, as these mid-market customers can all potentially become enterprises, he argued.
“Mid-market is always new blood for us. I have a lot of small and mid-sized customers which expanded quickly and ended up being listed on the stock exchange and all.
"I believe that this is the group of customers whereby if you serve them well, focus on helping them to grow their business, they will go with you when they expand and migrate to the enterprise class," Lee said.
He is also confident that the new lower-priced mid-market solutions would not cannibalise Avaya’s enterprise business.
“In the enterprise space, a lot of our customers need more customisation rather than turnkey [solutions] – this is because they have a lot of legacy systems in place. When they build something new, they want to make sure it integrates perfectly with their existing systems,” said Lee.
The mid-market solutions are less customisable as Avaya wanted to make them simpler for customers to deploy.
“Also, mid-market customers don’t have legacy system issues anyway,” he added.
However, he acknowledged that there may be some overlap. For example, when a relatively large-sized mid-market customer wants a solution, would Avaya propose the customer start at the enterprise level or at the mid-level?
“I guess it all depends on how fast the customer is growing and the affordability,” he said.
Increase productivity, cost-savings
Lee said he believes that companies using Avaya’s solutions would be able to save substantially on travelling costs, as well as gain greater productivity.
With Avaya solutions, a company can host a video conference amongst its employees or along with its suppliers and customers, with just a click of a button, he argued.
“We know today anyone can have face-to-face communications via various mobile apps. But when you need to pull in three or more parties together, how can you do this effectively?
“What we can do is we can integrate with [Microsoft Corp’s] Outlook; with just a click, we can create meeting invitations with a link for the conference bridge. We will then send it to the person, and even if he is on an iPhone, he will just need to click on the link and the video application will be launched,” said Lee.
The beauty of Avaya’s video-conferencing solutions is that the video quality remains “good” even using low or unstable bandwidth, he claimed.
The UC&C solutions for the mid-market segment is not the only thing in store for Avaya in 2014. In fact, in a few months, the company will be unveiling a call centre-type of solution for the mid-market, Lee said.
“This will also be another revolutionary product. We are currently running trials with some of our customers, and we will be launching the product officially soon,” he claimed.
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