More Aggression signalled by Avaya

Mike Thurk, Avaya’s Chief Operating Officer, has indicated that Avaya will become much more aggressive in the market following the company’s move from public to private ownership.

Speaking at their annual EMEA BusinessPartner Conference in Paris in front of more than 350 channel partners Thurk said that the first 90 days following the take over of the company by Sliver Lake would be characterised by increased investment.

“We have announced a 15% increase in direct sales headcount as well as a $60million investment in the channel that will include free product and applications training, a rationalisation of our solutions portfolio and more investment in R&D and professional services.”

Avaya were extremely bullish in their pronouncements now that they are in private hands and in essence confirmed that their strategy remains constant but implied their tactics to be employed in achieving their goals would be different.

One thing that needs to change is their headcount ration to revenues generated albeit, as Thurk stated, “Every year since Avaya was formed out of Lucent (seven) has been better than the previous year and 2008 will be better again.”

Avaya rounded off FY2007 on a high with Q4 revenues topping $1.4billion – a 4.8% growth on the same quarter 2006 and claim to be the world number one in terms of IP revenue and number of IP lines shipped quoting the Synergy report.

Thurk says that the strategy that has taken Avaya to this leading position will not change – they will continue to ‘extend the value of Avaya’s Crown Jewell; their IP Telephony Platform’ though much more emphasis will be place on developing software rather than hardware based products and applications.

“Avaya will build out our unified communications leadership position and we are trying to provide a standards based set of applications. Following our acquisition of Traverse Avaya will extend the abilities of appliances and continue the integration of third party products such as Microsoft OCS.

Thurk closed his presentation to his channel partners by requesting of them; ‘to develop their skills, to stay close to Avaya and be an effective