US-based Avaya’s recent filing for bankruptcy has not stopped investments taking place in SA, with the company continuing to hire personnel to work on digital transformation products and services.
This is according to Nidal Abou-Ltaif, president of Avaya International, speaking yesterday at the Experience Avaya conference in Johannesburg.
The unified communications solutions provider has been in the limelight over its financial problems in recent months. In January, the company filed for voluntary petitions under Chapter 11 of the US Bankruptcy Code in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.
It reportedly incurred a $6.3 billion debt burden, as it transitioned from a legacy hardware business to a software and services company.
Abou-Ltaif reassured partners that local operations remain unscathed, adding the company hopes to get out of bankruptcy soon.
“In SA, there will be no layoffs or cost-cutting; the only thing we’ve done is to delay the move to our new offices in order to take care of the staff and to focus on our clients’ requirements.
“The second quarter was a good quarter. In terms of productivity, we saw an amazing achievement and we are confident we will get out of Chapter 11 soon. We will continue to move towards releasing innovative software, good services, and some hardware,” explained Abou-Ltaif.
In March 2017, Avaya entered into an asset purchase agreement with Extreme Networks. Under the agreement, Extreme will serve as the primary bidder to acquire Avaya’s Networking business for a transaction value of approximately $100 million, subject to adjustments.
“In the next few weeks, we will announce plans on how Avaya intends to approach the market; however, 80% of our business will not change,” Abou-Ltaif pointed out.
Danny Drew, MD of Avaya SA, announced the appointment of Dean Baker as strategic services sales manager to drive services growth in the Sub-Saharan region.
“Baker will focus on improving channel efficiency and effectiveness across the SADC region, helping organisations to better align with Avaya’s go-to-market strategy, as well as engaging and managing client relationships at the executive level. He has served telecoms and service providers, enterprise clients, technology and services partners across multiple vertical industries and global geographies within the ICT sector,” explained Drew.
Discussing digital transformation in SA, Baker said local organisations face the same challenges as their counterparts in other markets.
“IT decision-makers are overwhelmingly saying legacy systems are preventing them from harnessing the digital technologies they need to grow and thrive. In today’s world, with communication driven by technologies like IOT, artificial intelligence and machine learning, companies need to be able to adapt while protecting their investment in legacy systems.”
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