Avaya filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January, ending months of speculation that it would take steps to reduce and restructure its $6.3 billion in debt. This move was followed by the sale of Avaya’s networking business to Extreme Networks for $100 million. Avaya has stated that it will sell other assets as well, although it’s hanging onto its contact center business.
Some industry analysts have said that filing for bankruptcy was smart, and are optimistic that the company will emerge stronger and more competitive. However, customers who use Avaya products are understandably worried, as those products face an uncertain future.
Avaya is a huge company that dominated the IP phone system, contact center and wireless data communications markets for nearly two decades. Originally part of AT&T, it later became the enterprise communications group of Lucent Technologies until it was spun off into its own company in 2000. But while other vendors were developing cloud-based and hybrid solutions, Avaya continued to support legacy, hardware-centric architectures. This failure to modernize its products played a key role in the company’s current financial situation.
As Avaya works to right its ship, customers are left with a quandary. No one knows which product lines will be eliminated or sold off. No one knows what Avaya’s long-term technology strategy will be. And because many older Avaya PBXs are based upon legacy, proprietary hardware, customers will be facing forklift upgrades when Avaya comes out with new solutions.
Avaya phone systems and networking gear aren’t going to stop working tomorrow due to corporate restructuring, but customers need to have confidence in the future of their technology investments. Many won’t be able to wait and see what Avaya decides to do before expanding or upgrading their communication infrastructures.
These customers should be looking at the ShoreTel Connect platform. ShoreTel Connect delivers industry-leading features in a platform that can be deployed onsite, in the cloud or in a hybrid model. Users enjoy a consistent, high-quality experience, and companies get the lowest total cost of ownership (TCO) in the industry. And because ShoreTel Connect was built from the ground up using state-of-the-art IP communications technology, it can be upgraded easily and expanded seamlessly as business needs change.
With ShoreTel Connect, a comprehensive suite of enterprise-class tools are at your fingertips for truly unified communications. Open APIs and a broad ecosystem of partner solutions allow you to integrate these tools into your business applications and workflows. The ShoreTel system can also be extended to any device anywhere, with dual persona and security features to protect both user privacy and business data.
To further sweeten the pot, ShoreTel is offering trade-in discounts and credits to customers who upgrade from Avaya to ShoreTel Connect CLOUD between now and December 31, 2017. These incentives represent substantial discounts off the upfront installation costs and ongoing monthly fees, while enabling customers to enjoy all the benefits that a modern, cloud-based phone system has to offer.
Avaya’s bankruptcy was a shock to many customers, but it offers them an opportunity to reevaluate their communication infrastructures and implement a more modern, forward-looking solution. If you’re concerned about the future of your Avaya equipment, we’d be happy to set up a demo of the ShoreTel Connect platform.