An Independent Contact Center CRM Review
Avaya may seem to some to be a newcomer in the CRM software and contact center space, but that is not the case. The company began initially as part of AT&T and then as Lucent Technologies' enterprise communications group. After Lucent spun off the group in 2000, it became known as Avaya. Avaya then became a publicly traded company on October 2, 2000. Its stock symbol was AV on the New York Stock Exchange. It later reverted back to a private company again in October 2007 when it was acquired by Silver Lake and TPG Capital. For FY2010, the company's total revenues were approximately $5 billion.
The company's focus is enterprise communications and collaboration systems, software and services with a global focus on Unified Communications (UC) and Contact Centers for businesses of all sizes.
The communications giant is competitively aggressive; and its business philosophy is to proactively stay well in front of its direct competitors. To do so, it is highly innovative and produced 60 new products in just the last 18 months alone. Avaya also has an aggressive M&A strategy to accelerate its organic growth.
- In 2001, Avaya bought VPNet Technologies to add virtual private network enhancements to its data networking products. In the same year, assets from Cyber IQ Systems added security while Quintus added oomph to its customer relationship management (CRM) software offering.
- In 2003, Avaya acquired Vista Information Technologies to enhance its global delivery of end-to-end services for converged, multi-vendor networks and advanced multimedia contact centers.
- In 2004, the addition of RouteScience added adaptive networking software and data traffic optimization. The acquisition of Tenovis greatly expanded Avaya's European presence and the purchase of Spectel added audio conferencing capabilities.
- In 2005, Avaya bought Nimcat Networks, a developer of embedded, peer-to-peer IP communications applications software, to eliminate the need for additional hardware and lower start-up costs for enterprises.
- In 2006, Avaya bought Transverse Networks, a developer of enterprise mobility solutions for unified communications.
- In 2007, Avaya added Ubiquity Software Corporation, a company whose core product was one of the leading platforms for the development and delivery of SIP end-user applications, in anticipation of the communications industry's migration toward all-IP networks.
- In 2009, Avaya acquired Agile Software NZ Limited to support Avaya's contact center business and the bankrupt Nortel Enterprise Solutions to add CRM software technologies, industry specific expertise, sales channels, and a large customer base.
- In 2011, the company bought Konftel, an innovator in audio collaboration technology and a leading conference telephony manufacturer. It also acquired Sipera to add comprehensive, Session Border Controller (SBC) capabilities, including advanced SIP session security and VPN-less remote worker services, to its UC offerings.
In a noteworthy departure from the norm in acquisitions, Avaya was careful not to devalue enterprise investments in the various technologies Avaya acquired. For example, after Avaya's 2009 acquisition of Nortel, the company took immediate and deliberate steps to provide a seamless transition with continued technological support for Nortel's customers. The general idea was to protect customer investments first and grow Avaya sell-through of new products second. Whether this effort is entirely successful is yet to be seen, however, the fact that the effort was made a priority speaks highly of Avaya's commitment to customers.
Further, Avaya software solutions are largely based on open standards, come in modular and bundled packages for optimum choice from a la carte to end-to-end solutions, and many can be overlaid with existing technology investments to prevent the need for fork lift upgrades or rip and replace projects. In short, Avaya has assembled an array of complimentary software products which collectively contribute to comprehensive call center software solutions.
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