At the start of this year, multinational unified comms specialist Avaya listed on the New York Stock Exchange. But just months prior to that the company was deep in debt after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. While none of its international entities were directly financially affected, it did mean the company had to step up its game.
According to Avaya Australia and New Zealand MD Peter Chidiac it was a matter of maintaining focus on servicing customers.
“It was important for us to reconnect with our customers. As you can imagine sitting behind partners doesn’t give us any visibility, and so I instigated a ‘high-touch’ model with partners to go see customers, see where their pain points are, see what we could help them with,” Chidiac told Telecom Times.
Chidiac said once conversations were had with customers at executive level what Chapter 11 meant for them, they were quick to move on to understand what else Avaya could do for them.
For Chidiac these conversations paid off for Avaya ANZ. During the Chapter 11 period, Chidiac said Avaya ANZ had its “best years in several years”.
“We met all of our financial KPIs under Chapter 11,” he said. “We also had a very strong reset as a business culturally, with our partners and customers and that translated into our success.”
Chidiac said looking ahead, the company plans to focus on “more advanced collaboration across unified communication” including artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and blockchain.
Recently, the company worked with the Dubai government to develop an application using blockchain technology to help the government measure the level of citizen satisfaction when they interacted with the government.
He added that Avaya globally is also on an acquisition trail and plans to re-invest more into R&D, after managing to free up US$300 million in funding following Chapter 11. It recently acquired US-based cloud contact service provider Spoken Communications.