Twenty years ago, Avaya began its journey to global leadership in the communications, collaboration, and contact center markets. While there have been twists and turns along the way, Avaya has consistently invested in products and services that meet the evolving needs of enterprises and small to midsize business (SMB) organizations.
“Our user group is proud to help Avaya celebrate its 20th anniversary this month,” said IAUG President Oscar Moncada. “IAUG is a valued partner to Avaya, providing customer feedback and insights from our members. We look forward to continuing our mutually beneficial relationship in the years ahead.”
Avaya was founded back in 2000, as a spinoff from Lucent Technologies, a descendant from A&T in the 1990s. At that time, voice over IP (VoIP) was a leading-edge technology, challenging traditional TDM-based PBX systems.
Based in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, Avaya had a strong enterprise product line that included feature-heavy Definity PBX systems, first developed in the late 1980s, as well as a full line of desk phones. In 2001, Avaya enhanced its Enterprise Class IP Solutions (ECLIPS) products including the ability to control IP phones using PDAs with infrared ports. Another solution allowed users to view streaming text messages from the Internet on the LCD displays on their phones.
Meanwhile, Avaya began building partnerships with other technology companies, including an alliance with SpectraLink to deliver wireless telephone systems to its enterprise customers. In 2005, IBM agreed to integrate Avaya’s voice communication within IBM’s enterprise email, web conferencing and instant messaging services.
That year, Avaya announced a new telecommuter solution that embedded virtual private network (VPN) remote capabilities into its family of IP telephones. By integrating Avaya VPNremote™ software within the phone, telecommuters had an “always on” business-class IP phone.
In October 2007, private-equity firms TPG Capital and Silver Lake Partners acquired Avaya for $8.2 billion and delisted it from the New York Stock Exchange. New product innovations over the next two years included speech-to-text voicemail, and the Avaya Aura for integrated communication services.
In late 2009, Avaya acquired the enterprise assets from Nortel, dramatically expanding its installed base. The following year, IAUG was formed from three Avaya and Nortel user groups. Meanwhile, Avaya became the network equipment supplier for the 2010 the Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Vancouver, Canada.
During the next six years, Avaya continued to introduce new solutions, like the Avaya Aura Contact Center, and expand its product line through the acquisitions, including Sipera Systems and Radvision. However, the company was carrying a heavy debt load an in January 2017, Avaya filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. After a financial restructuring, Avaya once again became a public company in December 2017.
Last October, Avaya entered into a strategic partnership with RingCentral and soon introduced Avaya Cloud Office (ACO) as a new unified communications as a service (UCaaS) solution. Meanwhile, Avaya continues to help IAUG members and other customers on their technology journeys by offering customized UC and contact center (CC) solutions.
Today, Avaya is a growing technology leader with more than 120,000 customers and a presence in more than 180 countries. As Avaya marks its 20th anniversary, it remains focused on its mission: “Elevating communications to the next generation of engagement, connecting organizations to their customers, workforce, and communities with secure, intelligent experiences that matter.”