Telecom heavyweight Avaya filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this month. It’s a real sign of the times. Like so many large technology manufacturers, Avaya has been facing tremendous challenges trying to transition their business to software and services from hardware. This latest episode underscores the importance for every business to get a handle on the economic and technological realities in today’s cloud-first, mobile-first marketplace. In the hole for over $6 billion, Avaya are likely selling off parts of their business as part of restructuring deals with their creditors. There are no specific details yet, which can scary for those invested in the company’s stock or technology. Nortel’s bankruptcy took 7 years to settle, so don’t hold your breath for the full story.
What does this mean for clients?
If you’re an Avaya customer, you’re in for an uncertain future. It’s not clear whether they will get shuttered years down the road after a lengthy court battle with creditors or emerge with a simplified business poised to grow again. Either way, current customers can probably assume that their products will continue to be supported and usable; but to what extent and for how long? They’ve gotten a loan from Citibank for over $700 million dollars, so they aren’t shutting their doors just yet. Perhaps now is a good time to buy more Avaya solutions at the fire sale! Jokes aside, no matter what, it’s a good time to re-evaluate the role that phones and unified communications tools play in your organization.
While the Chapter 11 filing is seen by investors and partners as a smart and ethical move for Avaya, it doesn’t bode well for customers looking to make strategic decisions this year. Here’s the thing, when it comes to your business, do you want to bet on a struggling horse? If Avaya is in crisis mode, it’s probably safe to assume that any product development or innovation is getting shelved for the foreseeable future. Now is a great time to start considering the alternatives out there in the VoIP and Unified Communications marketplace.
When it comes to collaboration solutions for the mid-market and small enterprise, at IT Weapons, we placed our bets on Cisco’s Unified Communications platform. We’ve been using their integrated voice, video conference, and instant messaging solution for over a year internally and we’ve seen a real jump in collaboration and productivity both internally and with clients.
Is it time to rethink your approach to phones, video conferencing, and collaboration? We can help.