Providing Cloud Cover

Sami Ammous, Avaya

WE seem to be spending more time with our collective heads in the cloud.

This desire to store data in the cloud has become more evident since the onset of the pandemic, when more people started working from home. The inability to physically be somewhere to access information forced businesses to resort to the cloud for business continuity.

The convenience was apparent — easy access anywhere, anytime — even it that meant having to dial up the system’s security against potential breaches.

Even as the most onerous aspects of the pandemic are being left behind, like a bad memory that could still come back, the advantages of living in the cloud has taken firm hold.

Office Anywhere

‘Effortless communication’ is Avaya’s pledge, offering an open architecture and access to a  large number of partners to pull together the required tools and apps for virtually any business.

Adding to its array of business tools, Avaya Cloud Office was launched in Singapore — its 11th market — in May, taking advantage of the rise in hybrid work that still prevails despite the easing of restrictions.

This cloud-based communications system allows business teams to call, meet, share, collaborate, and more anywhere, from any device — iOS and Android. And it does away with hardware installation of a PBX system for your phone network. 

Avaya Cloud Office will effectively become the office in an app. The platform is designed for hybrid work, it’s designed for work from anywhere, and to use any tool you want.

Avaya is not the only player in this field, but it banks on its experience to deliver more than what the competition is offering via its large network of partners and tools.

“It’s a congested space, but the pie is big,” Sami Ammous (pictured above, centre), Avaya’s VP Asia-Pacific and Japan, points out. “So, even if everyone gets a smaller piece of the pie, there’s still, I think, good opportunity for us to launch these products.”

For all the negative aspects of the pandemic, Sami reckons one of the good things to come out of it is “the acceleration of digital adoption”.

Cloud Readiness

But while the cloud offers great digital cover and quick access, it’s not for every market.

“One of the reasons we launched in Australia as an early market is because the appetite for cloud consumption there is very high. The customers there have been using cloud for a long time. They’re comfortable with it and they understand the risks. They understand the security requirements and they have processes in place,” Sami explains.

Other markets may not be ready for cloud.

While the pandemic and its lingering effects are still being felt, the war in Ukraine has added a new twist to the business planning of many companies.

“We have developers in Russia who had to move out of the country because of the sanctions imposed,” Sami says. 

“As it stands today, I think it’s hard to see an upside to what’s happening in Ukraine. I think companies are going to revisit their resiliency.

“They’re going to revisit their supply chains, the dependency on a single source of energy or wheat or whatever else we need.”

As a company, Avaya has always had a flexible working environment, largely because of its business make up.

“We don’t have production lines, we don’t have mines or factories. What we have is our people. So there’s a lot of focus being paid on retaining the talent that we have, finding new talent in the market, making sure people work as flexibly and as comfortably as they want.”

Continuous education for existing staff and hiring new people with new ideas, fresh talent and different ways of thinking is part of Avaya’s strategy for preparing for the future.

“When the next challenge, whatever it is, comes, even if we are not ready for it, we will  have more options to tackle it.”

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