Avaya Customers: Calling in Backup

If you're an enterprise that has any significant amount of Avaya gear in your network, you've almost certainly taken note of the company's Jan. 19 Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, and you've likely begun to investigate what that event means for you, your organization, and the end users you serve. Most of the best information on the Web, I must say, can be found from No Jitter bloggers: Phil Edholm has shared his perspective as one who had lived through the Nortel bankruptcy; Sheila McGee-Smith gave the contact center-based view; and Zeus Kerravala offered his suggestions about how the company should proceed.

But in terms of sheer practical heft, you can't beat Steve Leaden's post, "Avaya Users: Time to Build Your Contingency Plans." Steve's a veteran consultant who has a wealth of experience with Avaya installations, and his article reflects that depth of knowledge. He strikes what I think is the most sensible balance when it comes to weighing the possible outcomes, and how they may affect you. He wrote:

    With Avaya in Chapter 11, all owners of Avaya equipment have some level of risk. Enterprise customers need to do their due diligence and, while hoping Avaya remains intact, plan for the worst. The goal is to minimize business disruption.

Steve went on to say, "If your organization is an Avaya customer, note that the contingency plan should not deter it from doing business with Avaya as usual during this period." But the responsible thing is to have a plan for any eventuality. Furthermore, Steve pointed out, many organizations developing Avaya-specific contingency plans should realize the side benefit of generating a current and complete understanding of their entire communications environment -- a perspective that could be invaluable as they move toward whatever their next generation of communications might be, and with whichever strategic vendor or vendors they end up using.

But as thorough as Steve's post is, no single article can cover every scenario or be sure it's addressing a specific issue you might have within your enterprise. That's why I'm very pleased that Steve has agreed to lead a breakout session on the status of Avaya, which will take place on the first afternoon of -- Monday, March 27, at 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. (revised time from original posting). Andrew Brown, an attorney with LB3 Law, a firm that advises large enterprises on procurements, will join Steve on the panel. You should definitely check out a podcast that Andrew participated in with his LB3 colleague Kevin DiLallo and Joseph Schmidt, a consultant with LB3 affiliate TechCaliber Consulting. The trio offered their insights on the Avaya bankruptcy and provided the same balanced perspective that Steve offered No Jitter readers.

Though Steve and Andrew will take some time at the start of this session to level-set and offer their views, we've asked them to set aside most of the hour for answering questions from the audience. As of today, we don't know what exactly will be going on with the Avaya bankruptcy when we gather seven weeks from now in Orlando. So the discussion will go wherever the facts as known on March 27 take us, led by two of the best experts we know in helping you do what's right for your enterprise in the wake of the Avaya bankruptcy.

I'm planning to be in the room for that session, and I hope you can make it as well. You can get more information on Enterprise Connect here, and register here using the code NOJITTER to receive $300 off an Entire Event pass or a free Expo Plus Pass. I'm looking forward to seeing you there.

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