Avaya beefs up exec team, launches Azure-hosted cloud offering

A new and invigorated Avaya Holding Corp.  is taking shape, as witnessed by the announcement Friday of three new executives joining the company and the launch of the Avaya Enterprise Cloud yesterday at the company’s partner and user conference, Avaya Engage, in Orlando.

Joining the organization are Amy O’Keefe, who will serve as chief financial officer (CFO), Omar Javaid, who will serve as chief product officer, and Josh Mueller, who becomes chief marketing officer. All three have held senior positions with organizations ranging from Dun & Bradstreet and Google to Dell Technologies and Motorola.

The news comes following an announcement last month that the Morristown, N.J. firm had successfully emerged from the bankruptcy reorganization process with a “growth-oriented capital structure that includes upwards of US$650 million in liquidity.

“Today we turn the page and enter a new future for Avaya, our people and our customers,” said Alan Masarek, Avaya’s chief executive officer (CEO). “We are moving ahead with significant financial resources to accelerate investment in our portfolio as we continue delivering innovation without disruption to our customers.”

In announcing the appointments, he said “as the company enters a dynamic new chapter, the extensive industry and management experience of these executives will help us rapidly build on the leadership position we have established in customer experience.

“We operate in a very competitive technology industry, and seasoned executives like Amy, Omar and Josh could choose to work anywhere. Their decision to join Avaya is strong affirmation of the company’s potential and validates that we have set Avaya on the right path for our customers, partners, and employees.”

According to a release, the new Avaya Enterprise Cloud “provides a dedicated software instance hosted on Microsoft Azure for contact centre and unified communications functionality. The (offering) enables organizations to pursue hybrid cloud models by hosting parts of their communications infrastructure in a dedicated cloud instance, while integrating seamlessly with premises-based technology – a capability in high demand from large enterprises everywhere.”

Tim Sherwood, global vice president of product management at Avaya, said that “most large contact centres have premises-based call routing systems that are both complex and highly bespoke. These systems have very long lifespans, and customers have little appetite for enduring the disruption, and fundamental business risk, that replacing them entails.

“But every business is somewhere on the journey to the cloud – whether that’s to consume more advanced functionalities, to rationalize parts of the infrastructure, or simply to reduce the need to manage premises-based architectures.”

The cloud offering, Avaya added, builds on an expanding technology alliance between it and Microsoft follows the “technical direction set by Avaya Experience Platform,” the company’s cloud-contact-as-a-service (CCaaS), which is also hosted on Microsoft Azure.

Hybrid deployments, said Jim Lundy, CEO and founder of Aragon Research, “give organizations the flexibility to take advantage of the known benefits of the cloud, while preserving their existing investments.”

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Paul Barker
Paul Barker
Paul Barker is the founder of PBC Communications, an independent writing firm that specializes in freelance journalism. He has extensive experience as a reporter, feature writer and editor and has been covering technology-related issues for more than 30 years.

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