Last February, we’ve reviewed how can Skype for Business™ System Integrators capitalize on Avaya’s chapter 11.
Since then, Avaya submitted its debt restructuring plan[i]. However, analysts in the market believe that If Avaya Inc. succeeds in leaving Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the fall, then the UC vendor will re-enter a highly competitive market, where businesses are moving away from the company’s core on-premises products to the cloud — an area in which Avaya will play catch-up with much larger rivals, notably Cisco and Microsoft.[ii].
In fact, analysts recommend enterprises to be proactive, understand potential risks and build Avaya contingency plans [III].
Contingency plans considerations en route to Avaya PBX replacement
CIOs, CTOs and UC Directors are in a perfect position to help their executive management understand the risks associated with Avaya’s chapter 11, and the need to build Avaya contingency plans.
The plan should include the following topics:
- Manage Risk: Avoid facing exposure by analyzing Avaya’s chapter 11 potential outcomes and associating them with current corporate and strategic plans.
- Check Their Infrastructure’s End of Support (EOS) dates: EOS is a real issue with serious consequences; Enterprises could be vulnerable if support or spare parts are needed and not available.
- Evaluate Modern UC Solutions vs your business needs: The aim is to keep existing functionalities while adding new ones; Make sure to consider the organization’s dynamics and risk tolerance.
- Develop Budgetary estimates: Understand the costs of a replacement system from Avaya to another vendor, including CAPEX and OPEX budgets going forward.
- Get Migration timeline estimates: Compare the timelines involved vs the risks and EOS (articles 1 & 2); Understand what happens to the organization during the migration project in the context of the business’ needs and risk tolerance (article 3).
To conclude, customers who have not yet begun their contingency planning as of yet, should be proactive and start doing so. Skype for Business™ System Integrators are in great position to help and to win these migration projects.
Winning Avaya PBX migration projects: SI recipe for Success
System Integrators currently positioned as trusted advisors, can gain access to help build the Avaya contingency plans. In fact, being involved at such an early stage, can help to influence the probability of winning the migration deal.
Adding Value for your Client
Building Avaya contingency plans might seem straightforward, getting the actual info to complete the plan is not simple at all; In fact, mapping data such as infrastructure end-of-support dates, business needs, current functionality, and usage vs new functionality available proves to be a daunting, long, costly, and error-prone task.
Lack of accurate data, presented in a timely manner, also creates a challenge in getting realistic budget and timelines estimates, that puts the entire value of the Avaya contingency plans at risk.
This is where System Integrators can step in and help and add value to the contiengency plan, using these 3 simple steps:
Step1: Gain Visibility on Avaya’s Configuration
There are several ways to achieve this task:
- Management systems offers reports that include some of the relevant information. These systems connect to Avaya Aura through the Application Enablement Services (AES). The challenge with AES, is that it’s an add-on license and server, of that many deployments do not have; Consequently, clients are highly unlikely to make an additional investment to the Avaya system they are building the contingency plan to move away from, especially given the chapter 11 condition.
- Univonix CompeteTM Configuration Collector delivers a snapshot of users, devices, and system configuration with hundreds of different settings. There is no need for any additional investment in the Avaya system (e.g. AES).
Step2: Generate the PBX Assessment
Use Univonix CompeteTM to map users, devices and system features configured on Avaya’s PBX, and their parity with Skype for Business™.
The report includes aggregated information about the organization, as well as details for each site / group.
This is the key step that helps deliver value to your customer in articles 3-5 of the Avaya contingency plan:
- Gain insight into customer’s business needs by evaluating PBX features configured.
- Use feature parity analysis to understand the functionalities that can be preserved.
- Highlight Skype for Business™ benefits for functionalities that are not currently used that can cut costs and boost productivity.
- Accurately assess budget & timelines based on Real Data.
Understanding the PBX Assessment Executive Summary
The PBX Assessment report begins with an executive summary, to visualize the current feature set configured, as well as the parity with Skype for Business™:
Each graph includes a high-level explanation, so decision makers and stake holders who are not telephony experts, can understand the implications for the organization:
- Full Feature Parity: Indicates that the user / hunt group / pickup group can migrate to Skype for Business™ and get the same functionality they have today.
- Partial Feature Parity: This is a feature that is currently not fully supported by Skype for Business™
- Require Manual Review: This is an issue that needs to be manually reviewed prior to migration to Skype for Business™. Users, Hunt Groups and Pickup Groups configured with this feature can be migrated but may lose some functionality. In some cases, 3rd party solutions can close the gap.
Understanding the PBX Assessment Detailed Feature Parity Analysis
This section includes detailed information about the features list configured in Avaya and their parity with Skype for Business™.
Here are a few examples for Partial Feature Parity (Yellow) and Require Manual Review (Red):
|#||Status||Feature||Count||Legacy PBX Feature Description||Skype for Business™ Parity|
|1||Bridged Call Appearance||22||Provides an appearance of another user’s extension on this telephone. For example, an assistant might have a bridged call appearance of their supervisor’s extension.||SfB delivers similar functionality using the delegates features. However, SfB requires guidance to assign the phone line.|
|2||Automatic Call Distribution (Hunt Groups) with none-users entries||12||A Hunt Group is a collection of users handling similar types of calls, e.g. a sales department. An incoming caller wishing to speak to Sales can ring one number but the call can be answered by any number of extensions that are members of the Hunt Group.||SfB supports response group which gives similar functionality. However, only SfB users can be members of a resource group.
Common area phone and external numbers are not supported.
|3||Speed Dials||36||Devices with speed dials configured.||SfB clients do not support speed dials. Users can define favorites or use 3rd party phones to gain similar speed dial functionality.|
Step3: Format the PBX Assessment with your branding and add additional information
System Integrators can generate the PBX assessment report in Word format, allowing them to brand it with their own elements, as well as add additional information – e.g. Skype for Business™ feature set, hardware devices, timeline & budget estimations etc.
Looking to evaluate the full PBX Assessment Report?
The full report contains additional valuable info helping System Integrators to:
- Maximize each Revenue Opportunity
- Reduce Scoping Risk
- Set the Right Expectations with the Customer
- Gain Competitive Advantage
Book a web meeting for a demo of Univonix’s PBX Assessment report:
[i] Prime Clerk, April 2017: Joint Chapter 11 Plan of Reorganization of Avaya Inc. and its Debtor Affiliates
[ii]TechTarget, August: 2017: Avaya bankruptcy damage to haunt vendor in UC market