Unified communication

Avaya Goes Global With IBM Cloud

Avaya tapped IBM for an expansive contract to take the business communications company's services global using Big Blue's public cloud.

Avaya will expand its ReadyNow private cloud call center and unified communications, combining its own on-premises hybrid cloud technology with IBM providing the public cloud piece, the companies announced on Wednesday.

"It's a global partnership, a complete international offer, to drive cloud deployments into premises around the world," Chris McGugan, Avaya senior VP, solutions and technology, tells Light Reading.

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Avaya's big customers have data sovereignty and privacy needs that make it difficult for them to deploy pure public cloud services. Avaya launched its private cloud service in January in the US and later expanded to central Europe; the IBM deal takes the services global.

Avaya offers enterprises communications, team collaboration, video, voice and chat. It also builds some of the largest call centers in the globe for industries including banking, financial services and insurance, McGugan says.

As part of the IBM deal, Avaya gains access to Watson, to help its contact center customers improve routing and automation for dealing with customer calls, McGugan says. Additionally, IBM provides important automation tools and professional services for the cloud migration.

In addition to IBM, Avaya has partnerships with other cloud providers, with compute resources in Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services. "My customers sometimes dictate where they want their solutions housed," McGugan said. Some workloads span multiple clouds.

Troubled Avaya is pursuing "strategic alternatives." The company emerged from bankruptcy two years ago and put itself up for sale earlier this year after a disappointing second quarter ending March 21, which saw consecutive and annual revenue declines and an operating loss. Bloomberg reported last week that Avaya is leaning toward abandoning plans for a full sale of the company in favor of talks to form a joint venture with videoconferencing provider RingCentral. Previously, Avaya looked to combine with Mitel.

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