Since my most recent blog on Avaya’s Chapter 11 announcement, Avaya unveiled Zang Office and Zang Spaces at its ENGAGE conference in Las Vegas last week. Avaya's Zang offerings will compete with an array of other cloud base unified communications and collaboration solutions from the likes of RingCentral, 8x8, Cisco and Spark to name a few. But as Irwin Lazar of Nemertes Research pointed out, “They are definitely late to the market.” The most likely consumers of Zang Office will be existing Avaya customers that need, no must, replace an aging communications system with something. Lazar further goes on to say that, “The impact of Chapter 11 will be to freeze any new investments until the future of Avaya is more clear.” Well for those who cannot wait it’s time for a new solution from a new provider.
Both Cisco and RingCentral have jumped on the Chapter 11 announcement bandwagon as an opportunity to grab market share from Avaya with public campaigns to lure away their users. Avaya’s 2010 PBX market share was at 22% per a recent Eastern Management Group report. According to the same study, that market share dipped below 17% in 2015 as premise based IP PBX sales drop with the adoption of cloud solutions. The loss of customers will continue as a result of the announcement.
At a recent session at the ENGAGE conference entitled “ZANG IT”, Bryan Dingwall, Sr. Product Manager at Avaya, presented Zang. As part of the presentation Mutare’s vice president of business development, Rich Quattrocchi, offered a testament to Zang’s ease-of-use. Quattrocchi described an application that he uses at trade shows to engage and educate attendees. It’s a game of sorts that encompasses players’ cellphones, and a whole host of app tools and other “really cool things” in the background. In the App, participants text a phone number presented on the computer screen; their phone numbers then pop up on the spokes of a “Wheel of Fortune”-like wheel on the display. Once full of numbers, the wheel is spun electronically until it slows to just one spoke, which belongs to the winner, who receives a text notification they’ve won a prize.
Awesome if you need a platform that supports cool contest games. But how many of the remaining Avaya customers out there need a “wheel-of-fortune” capable voice communications system. They need a simple, cost effective solution to replace their PBX. We shall see if Avaya's Zang will turn this tanker around. Zang nab-IT!