When Avaya Inc. filed for Chapter 11 protection in the United States earlier this year, it was a wake-up call to companies that may have taken their legacy communications system for granted. The writing, however, had been on the wall for some time for Avaya users, beginning with Avaya’s acquisition of Nortel back in 2009—a move that saddled Avaya with significant debt and outmoded technology at a time when the company should have been investing in the future (i.e., the cloud).
With Avaya facing possible bankruptcy, their users are faced with some hard choices: Do nothing (and deal with the potential consequences of inaction), change everything (and rip out expensive equipment that still works) or migrate selectively from Avaya to a platform with a better future.
How to move
If you’re an Avaya user, our advice on how to move forward is this: keep calm and carry over what you can. Don’t let anyone convince you that you need to rip and replace your existing Avaya platform in favor of an all-cloud solution. That approach is not only expensive in some cases, but also potentially disruptive.
Businesses have a considerable amount of equipment and expertise invested in their communications system, and employees often develop a fixed comfort zone around their communications features, functionality and quality.
Instead, we believe the best strategy for Avaya users today is to mix and match the Avaya investments they have today with future-friendly, cloud-based communications components.
Building a cloud strategy
While most businesses already have a cloud strategy in place for their IT systems and applications, a cloud strategy for communications is different, because the requirements are different. Communications need to happen in real time, they need to be secure, they need to be reliable, etc.
If you’re not sure where to start with your cloud communications strategy, start by talking to Mitel and figure out how to move. We can help you develop a strategy that gets you from here (Avaya uncertainty) to there (the secure, scalable cloud), including:
- Ways to consolidate costs and reduce capex while meeting the rising need for mobility in your workforce
- Selecting which communications functions should stay on premise, which belong in the cloud and how to blend the two seamlessly
- Choosing the right features for the future, such as unified communications and omnichannel contact centers
- How to move forward without compromising security (including regulatory compliance), reliability and quality
- Combining cloud communications with existing business applications and legacy systems to enhance productivity and improve customer service
Despite the uncertainty of Avaya’s future, don’t lose perspective. You’re not driving off a cliff, but rather heading into a new horizon. Mitel can help you forge a better path forward with a broad portfolio of cloud, hybrid and premise-based solutions for unified communications & collaboration and contact centers.
Early on, we recognized that mobility and the cloud would change the way businesses communicated and collaborated, and we’ve heavily invested in cloud-based solutions ever since.
A better path forward
As a vendor with a strong legacy history, however, we also understand that businesses want to sweat their legacy investments without sweating about the future, so we made interoperability a priority. In fact, Gartner recently awarded Mitel the highest score among vendors for satisfying hybrid UC requirements.*
Today, Mitel customers can select when and where they want to implement cloud-based solutions, connect them seamlessly with their legacy Avaya or Nortel systems and improve communications, collaboration and customer service in a strategic, phased approach over time.
Now is the time for Avaya users to be talking about how to move into the future. Talk with Mitel, and we can help you create a customized cloud strategy, identify new features that can help your business, ensure your communications scale securely for the future and get the most value from the equipment you have today. We can even help you get the conversation started with our free eBook, Cloud Communications for Dummies.
* Source: Gartner’s Critical Capabilities for Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), November 28, 2016.