For Avaya, the global provider of business communications and collaboration systems, India has emerged as key for its growth both for its research and development and as a market.
Avaya is among the handful of companies that have used their India presence not for cost arbitrage but for real innovation and development. The India R&D centre, in Pune and Bangalore, is the largest for the company globally and would contribute almost 50% of Avaya’s product portfolio, which is around $ 2 billion, said the company.
Gary E Barnett, senior VP & general manager, Collaboration platform, Avaya said that India is significant for Avaya both as a market as well as from R&D stand point. “Whatever technology changes we see globally, in India they get magnified. Mobility, multi-channel, growing quickly into domestic contact centre, these are dynamics that are happening faster here. Moreover, we are seeing great benefit for the company due to the employees we have,” he added.
Avaya has had its R&D centres in India for 16 years. Of the 2,000 strong employee base close to 800 are part of the R&D centres. Barnett also says that India has been a crucial part of its growth either organically or inorganically. “We do a lot of acquisitions. One of the things that we tend to do, in most of the cases, is that if we acquire a company we add resources quickly to that acquisition in India,” said he.
For instance, when Avaya acquired Sipera, a provider of unified communications solutions, the very first thing that Avaya did was to double the group by adding people in its Pune centre.
For Barnett India is also important as test-ground for several of its products that it launches globally and for emerging markets. “The communications industry for the last few years had been static. If you look around in the recent time communication has changed. Collaboration or video cannot be room-based activity, video conferencing is people talking from different devices at different locations,” added Barnett.
Like several of other businesses that have been impacted by fast changing technology, the communications industry too has changed. Barnett says that a couple of years back it was all about ‘how customers adopt to technology’, but now it is how technology can be adopted into business cases. “For us as a company it has meant that we need to develop open platforms as well as be open to competitors technology,” said Barnett.
Mobility is one such shift that the industry saw for which communications solutions provider had to change their technology. “Our mobility solutions have done very well. While our competitors have been selling telepresence and million dollar rooms, we have adopted mobility in true sense. Room-based VC is no more the way businesses communicate,” said Barnett. He says that these shifts have been more rapid in markets like India.
For Avaya, its development team in India has been responsible to develop its mobility strategy. “While mobility is becoming part across regions, it is markets like India that are adopting to mobility much faster. That is why we are doing a lot of work in India centre” said he.