Avaya: Hip Outside; Still Old Fashioned Inside

Avaya has gone from a services company providing customers phone systems and equipment to now a software and marketing company. I say they were services company in the past because a lot of customers leased Avaya systems and even though today its somewhat similar with “subscriptions”, it was different animal.

I had broken up with Avaya just getting tired of their out of touch marketing which I wrote about early last winter. But by spring, I received a new-to-me Avaya PBX from my follower of this site. I couldn’t miss such opportunity to collect a real functioning enterprise phone system that would’ve been junked. I would’ve declined the offer if only it had one processor. 

What I’ve learned recently in a personal experience with Avaya is how they have no respect for anyone who isn’t a true business (you know one who works at a commercial address, a IRS Tax ID, etc.) In my experience what I have seen from Avaya on the outside as being an Apple wannabee, internally Avaya is more like an IBM. And I say that in a negative way. Basically Avaya hasn’t changed since they have gone overly agressive on the marketing going back to 2011/12.

To not drone on the readers, but Avaya’s support site is one of the worst in the industry. No technical support site is perfect, and Avaya had a decent one – without the notorious JavaScripts (like over five years ago.) But one early summer day, the Avaya support looked like a bomb hit the design servers in Colorado (assuming because enterprise support has always been at Westminster.) I tweeted out the disgust at Avaya then I was able to get into backdoor and started an off topic discussion of “hey I got an handmedown Avaya Definity CMC that I’d like to activate because in several days the license will expire and I’ll be barred form using it” like thing. So I gave the guy my email

Then this conversation continued by a guy named John Hawkins – out of the Atlantic Time Zone. Yup I guess Avaya can’t even hire domestic support people and then defer to what could’ve been an Avaya Blue operations just a few years ago.

Steven,

 Escalation contacts are reaching out to the Product Manager. Additionally, I have been given the following link to provide (which I believe you were initially searching for), noting you are not at this time registered, and that the legal terms indicated may not apply in your situation:

 support.avaya.com/helpcenter/getGenericDetails?detailId=C2014114164845801023

 The link is for MSP Activation, and includes additional links to forms. A reminder we are still looking into additional options – please advise if the link provided is of assistance to you.

 I assumed (and made a bleep out of u and me) that aforementioned link would work but it would require a service contract as the follow up email shows – a couple days later.

Steven,

 The following based on examination of the MSP documentation, and on responses from both my escalation point of contact and the Avaya legal department:

 From escalation point:

 System must be authorized/registered, and under contract/maintenance to obtain new license.

From the legal department:

 The user appears to be looking for much more than MSP activation. It appears he’s looking for a license that would make the system operable.

If so, there’s nothing relating to the TLI litigation that would require us to provide a license. The only thing we are required to do is activate MSPs. That is not possible in this context as the system is not active currently (with active licenses).

In context, it is as I originally suspected – the system must be registered an eligible for support/software maintenance in order to be activated and to obtain license(s).

 The idiots at Avaya really have made things really difficult for dare I say the hobbyist userswhich isn’t that of a far fetched userbase ether. I did mention the system was an R12 – and from research I’ve done and the mixed messages I’ve seen; the Oryx/Pecos-based system is ether EOL or just at the tail end of extended support, I can’t really tell. But what really hit a nerve was this need for a “maintenance contract” and according to my research, that can be few hundred to several hundred thousand dollars – and that was reading public sector documents – so the private sector (like me) would even be much, much worse. I did state the online museum thing and even threatened them to say I’d throw this system into storage (Ican’t just throw this away) and go with another vendor.

Oh did anyone ever know about their One-X Quick Editions? It was one of the only KSU-less based VOIP systems which are kinda neat. However the design was odd, They looked like 4600s but they had  had Nortel ring tones. And this was even before they bought them out. Way before. But when you read documentation on this tiny phone system, these system evenrequired a “Sold to number” (i.e. you must have a maintenance contract!)

What I didn’t tell Avaya was that I had an R9 processor as you already know from following this site. While its better than having no PBX, I’ve noticed that R12 is much more user friendly and has some newer modern features for control LAN, (CLAN), support for more VOIP sets, etc.

Gotta give credit to where credit is due to the designers dating back to AT&T. This thing is literally bullet proof. I tried everything ‘in the book’ to see if this thing could reset. The Avaya login called  craft (derives to the days when the phone company came in and did the maintenance, short for craftsman) failed got the same lock out treatment under admin, INADS requires that special secure gateway and if only you’ve been trained to decode and get in that way – you’d be lucky. In fact this is the only way to default a PBX since Definity Release 6 (released circa 1997) to CM 3x (released circa 2008) according to what I’ve read. I took out the board and booted up the system without a PPN. I took out the RAM (that was awesome to see the system crash and burn on the screen dumps) Changed the date to 2087 (I guess there isn’t a 2038 bug huh…) no avail. 2099? no can do. What looks like a battery on the PPN appears to be a soldered battery if it is one – dammit!

You want a secure phone system, well I have to say it’s gotta be Avaya. Want one that is secured by lawyers? Call those fine people in California today!

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