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Avaya, the Transformation of a Telecom Giant and the Digitcom Mouse That Followed Along


I remember my first encounter with the Avaya IP Office.

Let’s rewind to 2005.

Digitcom officially became an Avaya dealer in September of that year, and I enrolled in a one-week intensive IP Office training course at White Radio. The instructor was the illustrious Don Martin, who was, and likely still is, one of the best technical trainers I’ve ever encountered.

At the end of the week, I knew that we made the right choice in picking Avaya as our new primary phone system product.

In most respects the choice to abandon Nortel wasn’t entirely our own, and now, rather than sell “with” Nortel, we found ourselves competing against them in a very crowded market. I knew though that the Avaya product was so technically superior that beating Nortel would be like taking candy from a baby.

There aren’t that many moments in business when you realize you’re sitting on a massive opportunity, but when it happens, you pounce. And Digitcom pounced.

Avaya was our weapon, and we stood almost alone in the battlefield, fighting a much larger army selling Nortel. Except we had guns, and our competitors had sticks. It was hard to lose.

I often wondered over the next few years why Digitcom’s competitors didn’t catch on, but they didn’t.

I also wondered why Avaya’s competitors didn’t catch on. It didn’t matter, because the battlefield was slowly changing, and Avaya was about to start losing.

By 2011 the market had slowly shifted from a premise-based solution to the cloud. Avaya now had a new competitor, a competitor with cannons that outflanked Avaya’s guns.

Over the next many years, Digitcom moved into the cloud space and built our own hosted offering. Our success continued. Avaya, not so much.

I spoke with as many senior Avaya folks as I could find to ask why they weren’t worried about the new competitive threat. The battle was in constant motion, and Avaya was standing still.

I grew somewhat disillusioned, not with the IP Office, which I believed to be technically superior, but by Avaya and their direction.

Avaya floundered.

As the world around them changed, Avaya stood motionless. Defiant.

Their defiance was unfounded though, as the cloud competitors nibbled at the heels of the telecom giant, and the years of inaction proved careless.

Avaya left space—and time—for the rest of the telecom world to grow strong.

Awaken the Giant

Avaya post receivership, and with their latest and most recent moves, is like the Avaya I knew and grew to admire in 2005.

Technically adept.

Technically strong.

Technically aware.

Aware, because for the first time in many years, Avaya is once again the leader of the telecom pack.

In one bold move, with the release of Avaya IP Office R11 , the company has shifted so adeptly that they remind me of the telecom giant they once were in 2005.

Avaya Is Drinking the Cloud Kool-Aid

Avaya, the Transformation of a Telecom Giant and the Digitcom Mouse That Followed Along

Not only are they embracing the cloud, they have redefined the game.

The Avaya cloud solution isn’t just a cloud offering like all the others. Avaya’s product offers the power and feature set of the small business type functionality, which customers have grown accustomed to, and moved those features to the cloud.

How?

By reimagining how the cloud should and can operate. It’s called Avaya Powered By.

Not only has Avaya merged the best of their premise offerings and made that available in the cloud, but in so doing, they’ve redefined the cloud space.

It’s possible to run an Avaya cloud solution and combine the cloud solution with a premise offering. And it’s seamless.

Let’s say a company with an Avaya on-premise system opens a new branch location with 100 users. Prior to the Powered By solution, if the company wanted a cloud solution, that meant a forklift upgrade.

Not anymore.

It’s now possible with Powered By to keep the premise solution and seamlessly marry it to a cloud solution for those 100 users. No more forklift upgrade . And the best part is all the features that customers want—including many that aren’t available with any other product in the market—are available with Powered By. This includes

  • camp on
  • on another call appearance
  • multifunction busy lamp field appearance that gives access to silent call monitor
  • priority call
  • call interrupt
  • voicemail interrupt

Avaya, the Transformation of a Telecom Giant and the Digitcom Mouse That Followed Along

They are possible because of the way the handsets connect to the system. Avaya’s Proprietary signaling is laid on top of H323 and also SIP. It gives Avaya the extra push to do something special beyond the standard H323 or SIP protocols.

It’s a genius move. And no one else is doing cloud PBX this way.

Avaya has reimagined what cloud telecom can be.

And while all of Avaya’s cloud competitors fight for “almost like” small business functionality and can’t offer it, Avaya can. Combine that with their new Equinox telephony client, Zang collaboration tools, new phone lineup, and—best of all—new reinvigorated senior management, and we have the latest telecom giant.

I doubted Avaya for the last many years.

Not anymore.

Senior management is laser focused and has deployed a winner-takes-all approach to aggressively move their product portfolio to the cloud. Their biggest competitors, like Broadsoft, can’t offer the end-user experience that Avaya can.

It’s refreshing. It’s like the old Avaya of 2005, now only better.

And Digitcom … well, we’re one of the few companies in North America to build the infrastructure to support Powered By. And not only do we support Powered By, but we also deliver the SIP trunks to the platform itself. Although I haven’t confirmed this statement, I suspect we might be the only vendor in North America to have built the Powered By platform and also provide the SIP trunks themselves.

The Avaya giant has awoken. And Digitcom is ready to go along for the next ride.

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At the beginning of this post I wrote the following “In most respects the choice to abandon Nortel wasn’t entirely our own. I wrote about this extensively in the blog post, “How I Overcame My Biggest Oh F*CK Moment in Business, and How It Made Me and Our Business Stronger.” You can read that backstory here.

And as always, if you are interested in telecom, whether on-premise, cloud, or contact center, Digitcom has been innovating and delivering the customer smile since 1991.

Jeff Wiener

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Experience Clever Telecom.


Digitcom has 26 years experience working with Canada’s business community, helping to solve all their telephony challenges. If you are interested in running the most reliable phone system on the market, then contact us at 1-866-667-8357 or email us at sales@digitcom.ca.


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