back to article They're baaaack: Avaya outlasts Chapter 11

Almost a year after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, Avaya last Friday announced the process has completed. During the restructure, the company exited the networking business, selling that operation to Extreme Networks for $100 million. That left Avaya able to focus on its contact centre business (a good thing, …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stability is not their forte

    We use Avaya's telephony in our call center and I have worked with their systems for more than 10 years. Their platform is expensive but extremely solid, I just wish that they could find some other method than "Chapter 11ing" . It makes us panic every time..

    When I began using their system they were called "Lucent".... and we still have a couple of Lucent cabinets stuck on our walls, we never removed them after they were decommissioned.. probably because it will leave a big white patch on the wall, :-). I prefer that G450s that we use today...

    1. FrankAlphaXII

      Re: Stability is not their forte

      Every call center I've ever worked in or for always used Lucent and later Avaya, same with most of the local governments that I do work for now.

      When I was in the Army, we used their phones, gateways, and associated software for pretty much all of our non-classified stuff (and the classified stuff wasn't that far off, it was likely bespoke but I know there has to be Avaya code and hardware in it somewhere), they're really ubiquitous. Plus, they make a good product. And OneX is the only softphone software that I've ever seen handle a business continuity situation where a company is forced into using an alternate site for whatever reason seamlessly without constantly shitting the bed.

      Thing is that they've always been financially shaky, from the Western Electric "restructuring" that led to Lucent's divestment onward.

  2. K
    Pirate

    In 2005 I was forced to install a proprietary system into in a call center I worked at... in 2010, I took great pleasure in taking a large hammer to the dam thing, after replacing it with an Asterisk based system.

    For anybody who's looking, don't do it! Consider this, you think vendor lock-in with-in IT manufacturers is bad.. PABX manufacturers take it too a whole new level:

    Want a new user? That will be a licence

    Want that user to have a handset? That will be another licence (on top of the cost of a handset)

    Want to use a 3rd party handset which is 1/3 the price? That will be another licence which costs 4x

    Want that user to have a line or SIP trunk to make calls? That will be another licence

    Want that user to be able to access VM? that will be another licence

    Want that user to be able to access IM? that will be another licence

    Cost per-user was working out to about £750 each...

    1. Peter2 Silver badge

      In 1997 one of my predecessors installed a PABX. It's now 20 years on, and nobody is too seriously concerned about replacing said PABX since it still works perfectly. The original vendor still supports it, in that we have a maintenance contract and their stock room has several complete sets of spare parts from their customers who've upgraded.

      Dry comments have been made that the system is now actually older than their junior engineering staff and if they needed to do some work on it then they'd have to send senior technical management to do it who were trained on this system in the 1990's.

      They do offer occasionally to replace it, but without much in the way of hope. We sort of expect that it will soldier on until and get replaced about 2025, since it runs on ISDN lines and ISDN is going in 2025.

      PABX's aren't all bad. Just sounds like you've had a bad experiance with somebody like Panasonic.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Interesting, our old Meridan was installed sometime in the 1980's, had IP trunk cards installed sometime around the early 2000's.

      Although we had shunted most of the traffic of it years ago, the final lines were removed last year.

      In the 18 years I looked after it, we had about eermmm maybe 5 minutes unscheduled downtime?

      We even had a lightning strike down one of the lines, melted a few of the cards, but pulled them out, stuck in a few new ones and away we went, no restart required.

      Now running the Avaya for 3 years, no downtime on the core system.....

      Telco and Network down time, that's another whole other issue.

    3. gudguy1a

      Daannnggg!!!!

      @ K --- that about spells it out pretty well. Good one.

  3. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    Indeed. Working with a 100 calls an hours without a headset is no joke.

    You'd think PHB types would think this a good investment.

    Apparently not.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Was glad when we ditched Avaya kit here

    Had Avaya telephony here when I started a couple of years ago. Come license renewal time we did the calcs and decided we'd be better off with Gamma Horizon hosted telephony. Far more flexible, just as good call quality and just as reliable but far cheaper. Also infinitely easier to manage. Rock solid ever since we installed it.

    1. Khaptain Silver badge

      Re: Was glad when we ditched Avaya kit here

      As much as I understand that their alternative system, on our case we have a Call Center and this is where Avaya are extremely strong.. For basic office telephones, I would agree that Avaya is not a cost effective solution.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Was glad when we ditched Avaya kit here

      Anyone can provide a basic phone system....

      Running a few thousand agents with several hundred skills with 5 9's + uptime.

      That's a completely different ball game.

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