Avaya has been under a debt of $6B and it was known for some time now that they would be doing some restructuring to reduce it. It is speculated that the company may sell off parts of their business including their call center. Reuters reported last week that there is a suitor for the call center division and it is Avaya’s long-time competitor Genesys. Genesys recently raised $900M and it seemed logical for the company to buy out this segment but still the news seems to have astonished many.
With over 300,000 customers, including more than 80% of the Fortune 500 companies, Avaya is an industry behemoth. The aforementioned deal would be the biggest alteration of the call center vendor landscape in years. It could well be the largest shift since 2009 when Avaya bought Nortel’s enterprise business. How would this transaction affect the industry? We asked some of the leading experts for their opinions.
“[It’s] more about buying market share than it is about technology. That said, some Avaya technology assets, like predictive dialing, could be a good addition to the overall Genesys CX platform. In terms of cloud [call center], while Genesys is ahead, both companies have a way to go. The benefit of a combination would be that instead of two R&D teams working on two different solutions, just one team would be working on one platform. And that’s where the value of market consolidation comes in.” – Dr. Amit Chakrapani, Managing Director, CRM Academy of Asia.
“There are so many things, more logical things that Genesys can and should be doing that are better than buying Avaya’s contact center business. If Avaya were to sell off its lucrative contact center business, I would much rather see it go to a pure-cloud provider as I believe hybrid models offer a lot of benefits and a nice approach for customer expansion.” – Aman Grover, Head Online Business, Bharti Airtel Ltd.
“The stars certainly seem to be aligning for this to finally happen. There’s a strong consolidation wave underway now, and this move would allow Genesys – and Avaya – to compete more effectively against Cisco. Avaya simply does nt have the financial resources to remain as an independent major in this space, and Genesys looks to be the best option for long term viability, and getting anxious Avaya customers back into buying mode.” – Tushar Kaul, Head IT, Toshiba India
”If Genesys were to buy Avaya’s contact center business I think it would be to acquire the customer base rather than to acquire the technology. Taking on the Avaya product line would be a gargantuan task for Genesys. A more likely scenario would be Genesys acquiring a company like Interactive Intelligence if they could raise the funds. Interactive Intelligence would provide Genesys with an outstanding cloud solution in PureCloud and would also offer Genesys a fast entry into the mid-market. I don’t believe an acquisition of Avaya by Genesys is likely.- Lt. Gen. Sudhir Sharma, Chairman, Mitkat Advisory