Avaya announced its intention and agreement to purchase Radvision today. These two technological powerhouses have the combined brainpower to put together some of the most advanced unified communications solutions in the world. Radvision’s experience in building complex modular communication components plus Avaya’s strength in delivering complete, reliable communications solutions is an appealing combination. The strengths of this combination include:
Breadth of open technologies. Radvision’s H.323 and SIP stacks will combine neatly with Avaya’s Aura architecture to enable a wide range of interoperable communications solutions from varying vendors built on multiple old and new technologies.
Video portfolio. Radvision’s Scopia videoconferencing portfolio (from desktop to telepresence) extends Avaya’s current partner-driven video endpoint model.
The cloud. Radvision’s service provider relationships gives Avaya a firmer footing from which to sell cloud solutions to service providers.
Issues that management will have to deal with in the combined company:
Cultural fit. Avaya’s consensus-driven and collaborative culture may not provide the direction Radvision’s developers got used to within Radvision’s traditional command and control structure.
Revenue growth. Radvision has been on a slide. The Avaya/Radvision combination will have to open new markets and increase win rates to pay back the $230 million purchase price — approximately three times Radvision’s annual revenue.
Avaya execs kicked off their sales and partner conference predictably — reviewing Avaya’s eight quarters of revenue growth, a shift of nearly a third of Avaya revenue to the channel in the last two years, and significant new product developments and introductions. The company’s focus on total solution results accruing to users (via Flare), to IT infrastructure owners (via Avaya Aura SIP-based architectures), and to Business Process owners (via Avaya ACE integration to business processes) allows partners and sales teams to have discussions with various buyers and influencers in the unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) market. This fits well with Avaya’s theme of “The Power of We” — not only do the solutions help customers work better collaboratively, but the partner programs aim to bring Avaya and its channels together to fulfill these needs. Kevin Kennedy stressed that the accelerating improvements in corporate results (revenue, margin, net promoter, and patents) are the result of many initiatives across the company —from product development to partner programs and beyond. One of his slides highlighted Avaya’s intention to deliver Faster collaborations that lead to Smarter decisions and Better business — Avaya is offering Faster, Better, Smarter to both channels and UC&C buyers.
Since this was a sales and channel conference, I took special note of the partners who sponsored and presented to the larger audience. I saw a clear representation of the broad opportunities and capabilities that demonstrate Avaya’s commitment delivering through channels to market — in short, the partners demonstrated that they value Avaya’s capabilities and transparency in going to market.