History of Avaya, Inc.

As part of an ongoing history of documenting the once leader of enterprise telephony. For future posts, read the tag #MakeAvayaRedGreatAgain and Remembering Avaya

Avaya Incorporated was founded by Lucent Technologies in late 1999 to “unlock shareholder value” by focusing on mostly carrier switches such as the 5ESS products. The company was fully spun off as an IPO that was listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AV. Meanwhile, Lucent spun off other vendors such as Agere, a semiconductor company that went into their own products, with chips that even had Western Electric prints from the mid 1980s.

With the basics of the company’s founding, it’s important to go back to the beginnings dating as far back as the telephone itself. The history is on Avaya and the track related to Avaya’s past and present assets, products and services. Continue reading

Unravelling Avaya’s Many Mistakes, part two

From a follower of mine, quoted via email and permission to post. The context was in an answer to a question if they called Colorado before most of the developer operations were outsourced India and what was it like to call Colorado over India. Westminster, where most of the enterprise Avaya products were created over thirty years ago were developed and supported. This is where customers who had the money could talk to technical support at the developer level (Tier 3). I believe this was also the technical support for all of the enterprise systems.  And that dial-up modem number under system-parameters-maintence options screen would dial to.

I guess “Once Upon a Time” would be the best metaphor.

To be honest, our business partner pretty much handled all of our queries before that point, and I think would even call in equipment repair/replace orders on our behalf.  Then at some point as [redacted Avaya Business Partner] grew, they basically said, “you’re not paying us for support/maintenance, you’re paying Avaya, you’ll have to call them.. “ I also found out that we could shift our maintenance/support from Avaya to [redacted BP again] (obviously for a little more money) but Avaya actually frowns on that behavior from their business partners.  The way I was told it was like this… If you approached your BP about taking over your maintenance,  then Avaya would begrudgingly let it happen.  However, it is considered bad form for business partners to proactively offer and push that service to their customers.  (Don’t quote me on this..) that Avaya might even threaten a BP’s status as a BP if they found too many support contracts being converted in this fashion.  Now… what does that say about Avaya?  I don’t know about new support contacts, but certainly this was the attitude regarding converting existing contracts.

I won’t quote you, but it makes sense because without conclusive evidence, it kinda is reminiscent to the reply in an earlier series of this subject.

THIS the Reason for Avaya’s Demise?

This may become a reoccurring post, because there are so many reasons how the company fell part. Sales and Marketing may had a lot to do and a dysfunctional organization too.

Could Avaya’s failures be trying too hard to be a consumer brand? In this screengrab below, you can see Avaya is discussing digital disruption with “fintech” (don’t get me started with them bots!) and something about Disney’s MagicBand. How this applies to general Layer 1-3 or 4 & 5 networking is beyond me in this excerpt or even the original discussion that will divert you to another publication on the web.



One of the things left to wonder is did Avaya just go off their core products and audience in the name of being a consumer brand and everything to everybody?

Unravelling Avaya’s Many Mistakes

NOTE: The original post did not include specific financial information related to Avaya as it requires more research time to gather and publish. I also will have to gather Nortel information to put together for an analysis. The original post features the overall history of Avaya from spinoff to bankruptcy.

I wanted to quote the once pop song Breathe (2 AM) from artist Anna Nalick of “unravelling my latest mistake” however Avaya unravelled one too many mistakes instead.

In preparation for this post; I went to the basement in my house, the office where I have a file cabinet of old periodicals. I have a collection of annual financial reports from AT&T to every known spinoff because I have a living grandmother who got shares of AT&T around 1988 when my nana (great grandmother) passed. AT&T was known to be the widow stock because of it’s dividends, but when my great grandmother passed, I was a year old; and four years after Divesture. Even before 1984, AT&T’s stock was under pressure, even as a regulated monopoly.

So my gram owned AT&T, NCR, Lucent, Avaya, Agere, and a couple of others. I believe the Avaya buyout of 2007 was her last dump of all the individual stocks that no one would envision twenty years prior would occur. (In fact, there was a surprise for me, my family was in talks of transferring the ownership of AV from my gram to me. But it all went away when they were bought out by the PE firms.)

I feel the Avaya spinoff in retrospect after the bankruptcy was a blessing in disguise – when you look at the numbers. In 2007 around the time of the buyout, Avaya’s stock was around $10 a share. Nortel was in the pennies (even after a reversed split), Lucent merged with Alcatel (the word on Main Street was the merger would raise the stock price) and it went nowhere; Agere was bought out in 2007 as well.

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