Avaya’s South African customers face the same challenges in moving to the cloud, and many of them have bought into the company’s phased approach.

Brett Butler, country manager of Avaya South Africa, points out that many of Avaya’s largest customers in the financial services, insurance or local government spaces, have a long history with the company – and a big investment in their legacy infrastructure.

“For these companies, moving to the cloud is not something they can do immediately. There is a lot of complex integration involved in their systems, so our strategy fits them to a tee.”

Large enterprise customers are able to run their on-premise systems, and start layering new, digital systems on top. “By moving one step at a time, they are able to manage the risks while bringing in innovative new services.

“Customers recognise that moving to cloud is not as easy as flicking a switch, which is why our value proposition is resonating with them.”

Nidal Abou-Ltaif, vice-president: specialists organisation at Avaya International, says Avaya’s target market remains the large enterprise and complex mid-size markets.

These are the customers that will benefit from Avaya’s hybrid approach, and from its strong consulting and services organisations.

A lot of focus is placed in the existing user base, with renewals and upselling keeping these customers on the innovation without disruption journey.

Avaya is also relaunching its business process outsourcing (BPO) strategy to address the BPO operations that operate in the top end of the market.

A big part of Avaya’s success in the South African market is the fact that so many of its key team members are veterans of the company – Butler himself has worked for Avaya for more than 20 years.

“We a customer-focused company with a strong services ethic,” Abou-Ltaif says. “We don’t sell a solution and disappear.”