Stephen Leaden
Steve Leaden is founder and president of Leaden Associates, Inc., an independent communications and IT consulting firm in business 25...
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Stephen Leaden | April 20, 2017 |


Next Steps in Your Avaya Chapter 11 Journey

Next Steps in Your Avaya Chapter 11 Journey As Avaya inches toward reorganization, your job as a customer and steward to your organization is to be proactive about contingency planning.

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Your Next Steps
As I outlined in my earlier No Jitter post, "Avaya Users: Time to Build Your Contingency Plans," enterprises should be proactive during these times. Consider the following key questions, and attach action items to each:

  • Have you started your contingency planning? If not, your organization could face exposure. While you cannot control outside forces/circumstances, you can be proactive in dealing with possible outcomes. For example, you should be sure to associate potential outcomes with your corporate and strategic plans (some of the key areas for project approvals may lie in connecting specific corporate vision with your UC solution).

  • Have you evaluated any end of support associated with your infrastructure, and do you understand the possible risks of such? (One of our clients received notice that it would need to upgrade its system, at a cost of more than $350,000, or face complete end of support within eight months). Along the same lines, have you equated the inability to receive support during an outage to potential financial loss to your organization? (We have seen financial firms significantly affected by Hurricane Sandy and other multiday outages.)

  • Have you begun developing budgetary estimates for an upgraded or replacement system from Avaya or other vendor, including associated CAPEX and OPEX budget going forward? You'll need to do that, as well as socialize such with your executive management team. Many vendors, including Avaya itself, are offering significant discounts specific to Avaya customers.

  • Have you considered cost savings and cost avoidance to offset the CAPEX and OPEX costs associated with an upgraded or new UC system as part of an ROI strategy? As we've seen with some or our clients, these can be significant -- enough in most cases to pay for the CAPEX in less than 12 months. Being able to measure ROI is a requirement for most larger enterprises making multimillion-dollar decisions for upgrades or replacement UC infrastructure.

  • Have you considered some of the latest technologies that can add value to your organization? As seen at Enterprise Connect, these include communications platform as a service, Internet of Things, team collaboration, and artificial intelligence, among others. Some of these technologies may provide the leverage you may need to push forward with an upgrade or replacement.

  • Have you considered a cloud-based solution? Looking at cloud CAPEX/OPEX costs, we have found that total cost of ownership for a cloud solution can be anywhere from 30% to 100% higher than an on-premises solution over a seven-year period. However, cloud offers the flexibility to increase and decrease the number of endpoints paid for during high and low periods (during growth or downturns), building out the necessary infrastructure takes a fraction of the time, and many of the cloud providers are now delivering on the full UC and contact center suite today, not available from most of them as little as two years ago.

  • What are the dynamics or your organization? If you're going through mergers and acquisitions with disparate older telephony systems and/or newer UC platforms, for example, now is the time to consider a centralized UC strategy solution.

  • What is your organization's tolerance for risk? Consider how long are you comfortable managing a vendor's Chapter 11 status without affecting your organization's ability to communicate and collaborate in real time across regional, national, and global operations.

  • Are you meeting regularly (monthly or quarterly) with your Avaya team and staying up to date on the company's latest steps? Make sure these steps align with your organization's corporate strategy and timing requirements. (In most cases, Avaya will share status reports under NDA.)

Summary and Conclusion
If you have not begun your contingency planning as yet, it is time to do so. Being proactive during this Chapter 11 period is a requirement for you as a customer and as a steward to your organization.


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