Joyner on Avaya’s post-revamp plan

Avaya’s Vice President for UK&I Steve Joyner shares insights into the vendor’s post-financial restructuring strategy and why its ‘innovation without disruption’ approach will prove critical.

Against the backdrop of major financial restructuring Joyner reports that Avaya UK&I is doing well with a solid 2023 performance under its belt. “We delivered on our revenue plan for the past five quarters and are on track to exceed planned revenue for H1 FY24,” he stated. “This strong financial position provides more than enough liquidity for strategy execution, to reinvest in the business and build on what we achieved last season. It’s time to use that platform to better serve customers.”

Avaya exited the 2023 calendar year with $650 million cash and access to a further $128 million in a revolving facility. And Joyner noted that net logo retention among large enterprise customers sits at 97 per cent, with renewal rates on base subscription contracts also ahead of plan. He pointed out that Avaya’s strength has always been in serving large, complex enterprises, and that the vendor’s big opportunity lies in building on ‘what already works’, leveraging familiar processes, systems and technologies as a foundation for introducing new innovations, particularly in the large enterprise and government segments.

“Avaya’s innovation without disruption strategy is adding tangible value for enterprises, giving them the ability to bring AI and other innovations on top of existing investments,” commented Joyner. “Businesses are investing in innovative technologies but not for their own sake. They are investing in positive outcomes and want to add new capabilities like AI and chatbots, but they don’t want to give up existing solutions that work perfectly well in other areas of the business. We’re prepared to meet organisations exactly where they are, enhancing existing capabilities while preserving the trusted and reliable experiences they have built over time.”

Businesses are investing in positive outcomes and want to add new capabilities like AI and chatbots, but without giving up on existing solutions that work well in other areas

According to Joyner it’s a challenge for organisations to innovate quickly enough to meet all of their customer experience (CX) and employee experience (EX) goals, and he observed that business leaders are witnessing a widening gap between their current CX and EX platform capabilities. “This state of affairs has led us to a holistic approach that recognises that CX, EX and business growth are not isolated silos but interconnected priorities,” he added. “CX and EX are not costs to be minimised. Instead, by adopting an integrated approach businesses can transform customer satisfaction and employee engagement into catalysts for revenue generation, market differentiation and competitive advantage.”

Customer experience
End user businesses are more and more aware that the main driver of loyalty and growth in their brand is customer experience. But, as mentioned, concerns about operational disruption or customer service continuity can be a barrier to innovation. “Channel partners have a pivotal role to play in helping customers understand that there is an alternative to rip-and-replace that enables innovative new solutions to be overlayed on top of what already works in terms of existing processes, systems and technologies,” added Joyner.

“This is where partners can add real value. Their knowledge and expertise about available technology combined with strategic foresight, consulting and implementation services means they are best positioned to assess how to map digital transformation journeys through a business process perspective.

“It’s also important for channel partners to recognise that when they talk to customers it’s not just about this or that technology. The addressable market for CX, which includes a multitude of technologies across contact centre and UC, deployed on-prem, in the cloud or hybrid, is huge. Both UC and CC might be needed to help customers meet their CX, EX and growth goals. The customer doesn’t care so long as it delivers the desired outcome.”

Leveraging AI
Joyner observed that Generative AI offers many possibilities for the CX space, and late last year Avaya showcased a Generative CX concept that brings AI into the core of the contact centre, creating workflows, reports and helping agents better serve customers. Avaya also forged a partnership with Zoom for AI-powered collaboration and streamlined its solutions portfolio into one product suite for UC&C, creating a single platform offering for CX.

“We’ve simplified our portfolio and solutions architecture to help customers adopt new capabilities,” explained Joyner. “The move enables us to accelerate roadmap delivery and makes it easier for enterprise customers to innovate without disruption, deliver improved experiences to customers and employees while driving measurable business growth.”

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