“The solution illustrates how organizations can extend their contact centers into the metaverse, leveraging advanced innovations without impacting their existing contact center investment,” Nidal Abou-Ltaif, President, Avaya International said.
It demonstrates a use case for opening a business in the UAE within the metaverse and receiving seamless customer support from a contact center agent at every step of the journey. This kind of innovation without disruption will help businesses, he said.The solution will be taken to the Indian market as well, depending on the customer’s demand, he said.
The solution is developed by Avaya’s Dubai-based team in collaboration with Avanza. The ‘Metaverse Experience’ solution will support Dubai's ambition to be one of the top 10 global cities for the metaverse economy. The Metaverse Experience solution was demonstrated at GITEX Global in Dubai.
Avaya, a provider of cloud communication and workstream collaboration solutions, has signed an agreement with Startek, a customer experience (CX) solutions provider.
As part of the MoU, Startek will explore hosting a range of Avaya OneCloud portfolio solutions. This will be with the intent of making them available to businesses in a compelling package that includes contact centre agents and institutional expertise in customer experience.
A subscription-based pricing model will be used to provide access to the solution, which will allow organisations to purchase the capacity, services, and people they need as and when they need them, without having to pay large upfront costs for such services.
The agreement will aim to create a packaged solution of both technology and services that can be extended to Startek customers globally, with the technology built on the Avaya OneCloud experience platform.
“Startek enables brands across the globe to build long-term customer relationships through the delivery of human-centric experiences,” said Abhinandan Jain, chief digital officer, Startek. “In today’s economic climate, small and medium-sized businesses want to avoid large upfront costs and make the best use of their internal resources by outsourcing non-core activities. By partnering with Avaya, we create the opportunity for emerging enterprises to benefit from market-leading CX delivered through a bundled data, people and technology solution – all at a fixed monthly cost.”
“We’re coming together to address a market need – namely, to make it easy for businesses to consume a technology platform, along with market-leading people and processes. Working together, we’re able to extend the benefits of the reliability and expertise that industry leaders such as Avaya and Startek bring to the market,” said Nidal Abou-Ltaif, president, Avaya International.
Read: Gitex Global: Vodafone, Ericsson facilitate data-driven decisions with AI-based solutions in Oman
Partnership to provide unparalleled, frictionless customer experience to MEA customers
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, October 11, 2022--(BUSINESS WIRE)--GITEX Global--Uniphore, the leader in Conversational AI and Automation, today at GITEX Global 2022, announced a strategic partnership with Avaya (NYSE: AVYA), a global leader in solutions to enhance and simplify communications and collaboration, to bring its integrated Conversational AI and communications platform to customers across the Middle East and African (MEA) region.
Uniphore’s Conversational AI and Automation products will add deep functionality to the Avaya OneCloud™ CCaaS platform. Avaya OneCloud CCaaS makes it easy to connect chat, video, voice, and messaging to deliver enhanced experiences for customers and employees at every touchpoint.
With Uniphore, Avaya OneCloud CCaaS users will be able to track, measure, and Excellerate their contact center journey with increased self-serve capabilities, frictionless agent experience, and needle-moving insights. Avaya’s customers will have access to Uniphore’s conversational AI and automation solutions and will be well-placed to digitally onboard customers, including from social media platforms driven by AI-powered solutions.
Uniphore's comprehensive X platform is an integrated conversational AI and automation platform that combines natural language processing (NLP), robotic process automation (RPA), automatic speech recognition (ASR), including the Arabic language, emotion AI, and knowledge AI that enterprises need in today’s tech-savvy consumer era. These technology components translate into specific customer offerings in chatbots, voice bots, conversational analytics for quality automation, real-time customer analysis, and agent guidance.
"In today’s uncertain world, consumers want brands to address their needs quickly and efficiently; this makes the customer experience more important than ever," said Kennedy Pereira, VP, CCaaS Ecosystem, Global Alliances and Partnerships at Uniphore. "We are excited to partner with Avaya to enhance CX, better understand customer insights to achieve superior business outcomes, Excellerate employee performances, and lower customer costs."
The integrated platform will also enhance employee productivity and efficiency by guiding agents in real-time with in-call alerts, next best action and reduce their after-call work by automating call summarization. This allows agents more time to focus on creating emotional connections with customers, delivering exceptional CX, and reducing operating costs by improving time to resolution and first call resolutions (FCR).
"With Avaya OneCloud CCaaS, we make it easy to connect customers, agents and back-office staff with the insights they need to deliver great experiences. And by adding the power of Uniphore’s AI and automation tools to the platform, we’re able to magnify the effects of these capabilities. We’re excited about the solutions that our joint customers will be able to create with our technologies," said Ahmad Dorra, Customer Experience Solutions Sales Leader – Middle East, Africa & Turkey, Avaya.
Visit the Avaya stand at GITEX Global at booth Z3-B35 and booth Z1-C10, Zabeel Hall, Dubai World Trade Centre between October 12 and 14, 2022 to learn how Avaya and Uniphore work together to create seamless CX. Uniphore will have its conversational AI and automation platform woven into the Avaya demonstrations on display, showcasing solutions that unlock the value of every conversation.
Uniphore is the global leader in Conversational Automation. Every day, billions of conversations take place across industries — customer service, sales, HR, education and more. Whether they are human to human, human to machine or machine to machine, conversations are at the heart of everything we do, and the new currency of the enterprise.
At Uniphore, we believe companies that best understand and take action on those conversations will win. We have built the most comprehensive and powerful conversational automation platform that combines conversational AI, workflow automation and RPA (Robotic Process Automation) with a business user friendly UX in a single integrated platform to transform and democratize customer experiences across industries.
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Businesses are built by the experiences they provide, and everyday millions of those experiences are delivered by Avaya Holdings Corp. (NYSE: AVYA). Avaya is shaping what's next for the future of work, with innovation and partnerships that deliver game-changing business benefits. Our cloud communications solutions and multi-cloud application ecosystem power personalized, intelligent, and effortless customer and employee experiences to help achieve strategic ambitions and desired outcomes. Together, we are committed to help grow your business by delivering Experiences that Matter. Learn more at http://www.avaya.com
View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20221010005684/en/
Florius, a leading, Netherlands-based mortgage lender, has used Avaya technology to significantly enhance the customer experience while simultaneously enabling its contact centre agents to adapt to a hybrid work environment.
The Automated Quality Management capabilities of Avaya OneCloud, integrated with Florius business applications, has empowered remote employees with digital tools to raise the quality of all customer interactions through advanced, real-time speech analytics, said a statement.
“The customer journey is very important to us,” said Seif Alhamrany, head of the Advisory Team at Florius. “We are committed to a fast turnaround for mortgage applications, so we need to put the customer in the center, have fast access to as much information as possible, and automate processes as much as possible.”
Changed workloads during the pandemic forced Florius to quickly adapt to a hybrid work scenario. By the same token, direct insight into the changed contact behaviour of customers became essential during this time of uncertainty. “We need to adapt very fast to provide our customers with the best service and also to provide our employees with the best solutions” said Deliane Schimmel, Managing Director, Advisory & Service, Florius.
Using Avaya solution, Florius was able to remotely introduce AI-powerd speech analytics and quality management tools, which monitored 100% of customer calls and then provided guidance on the next best answer. This gave agents direct insight into Topics that would usually require training, while also enabling them to work according to more flexible schedules from home.
“A good example of this came when there was amended legislation concerning delayed mortgage payments. Employees did not have to be trained on this first, because they were provided with the correct knowledge in real-time - during conversations where payment and COVID were discussed. As a result, the agent was able to provide the right answer quickly, because they immediately had the right information and could share it with the customer,” explained Alhamrany.
Avaya and NTT, the Avaya partner that integrated the solution, worked closely with Florius to integrate the Avaya solutions with the company’s CRM system, a step that broadened the view of the customer journey and provided new insights for agents.
“Florius has always built its reputation on the experiences it provides to its customers, and this use of advanced technologies to draw intelligence from voice conversations is just the latest in a long line of innovations. We’re proud to be supporting Florius as it continues to push the boundaries of great customer experience,” said Nidal Abou-Ltaif, President, Avaya International. -TradeArabia News Service
New York, New York--(Newsfile Corp. - October 6, 2022) - Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP, a leading national securities law firm, is investigating potential claims against Avaya Holdings Corp. ("Avaya" or the "Company") (NYSE: AVYA).
If you suffered losses exceeding $50,000 investing in Avaya stock or options and would like to discuss your legal rights, call Faruqi & Faruqi partner Josh Wilson directly at 877-247-4292 or 212-983-9330 (Ext. 1310). You may also click here for additional information: www.faruqilaw.com/AVYA.
Since I last wrote about B2B unified communications and contact center telephony firm Avaya (NYSE:AVYA) in early June, it has been anything but quiet. The original thesis was that a successful bond offering would provide Avaya with the capital it needed to retire its 2023 convertible bonds, extending maturities to 2027 and 2028, thereby removing any near-term bankruptcy risk and giving the company adequate liquidity and time to complete its business model transformation from one time perpetual sales to a SaaS recurring subscription model.
Avaya ultimately did raise $600 million, split between an 8% $250 million Exchange Note, convertible at $4.30 (232.50 shares per $1,000 Notes) and provided management the ability to settle in cash, common shares or any combination thereof. Given Avaya lacks liquidity to settle in cash at this point, I assume they would issue common shares provided the conditions set forth in the Exchange Note Indenture are met (more on this below). The remaining $350 million came in the form of a term loan due in 2028 at 10% over the secured overnight financing rate.
The company disclosed on July 14 that it closed the financing and managed to retire $129 million of the 2023 bonds, leaving $221 million outstanding and leaving adequate cash in escrow to satisfy the rest.
Then on July 29, Avaya made a surprise and shocking announcement: it fired its former CEO and hired highly regarded communications industry veteran Alan Masarek to lead Avaya’s SaaS transformation while also disclosing that the Q3 financial results missed consensus expectations for revenue and adjusted EBITDA. The company also withdrew formal guidance for the remainder of FY2022.
That led to the company’s June bond offerings being challenged (and dropping in price precipitously), apparently based on the assertion that Avaya didn’t provide adequate disclosures to lenders based on updated knowledge of its business conditions. Both Avaya and the $350 million B3 term loan lenders lawyered up following the drop in bond prices (which have since begun to recover). The 2023 notes cratered from 95 on July 22 to 17 on August 15, and the last trade was at 44.50 on September 14. The volume on the 2023 bonds has essentially dried up, indicating to me that negotiations on a debt deal with the 2023 bond holders is likely getting close to being finalized.
My belief is the “financial noise” described by new CEO Alan Masarek is largely centered on GAAP revenue recognition rules for SaaS contracts vs committed ARR which led to the large Q3 miss, but doesn’t provide a clear snapshot into the health of the underlying business which is primarily based on the continued growth in ARR and customer wins. Avaya closed 1400 new logos in Q3 which Mr. Masarek described as an acceleration over Q2.
Separately, I understand a previously disclosed $400 million win over 7 years with a large financial services company (which included a large cohort of partners, and as such, a low margin deal) went stale and this was disclosed to the lenders during the due diligence process such that it provides a piece of evidence that Avaya’s financial health was fully disclosed and that Avaya should be free to use the $600 million raised to satisfy the 2023 bonds and general corporate uses.
To add to the “financial noise,” Apollo Global Management (APO) is reportedly buying the 2028 bonds according the WSJ, and attempting to force Avaya into bankruptcy although I understand not all the other lenders are in alignment with Apollo. Nor are Avaya’s shareholders — Theodore King, an education software entrepreneur and Avaya’s single largest shareholder as of mid-August — commented on Twitter that he believes Avaya’s Board should categorically reject any “loan to own” offer from Apollo, and seek to implement its new business plan under Mr. Masarek’s leadership.
To that end, Avaya announced on September 6 that it implemented a cost savings campaign to remove $250 million in annual costs (primarily job related) to create a more agile organization while it reinvents and invests in its product road map while restoring near term adjusted EBITDA to $500 million. The company also hinted there could be incremental cost savings in other areas outside the United States.
So with all that said, and after a strange series of events since June, I believe we are back at the point of the original thesis: that Avaya presents a compelling risk/reward based on the company hinting that completing the 2023 bond redemption could be “weeks” away, thereby extending maturities to 2027 and 2028 and removing near term bankruptcy risk such that the equity can potentially re-rate considerably higher.
As part of the June debt refinancing, Avaya first disclosed on June 23 a $150 million 8% Exchange Note with an Exchange Price of $4.30, or 232 shares per $1,000 Notes. As part of that deal, the institutional investor — Brigade Capital — was subject to a Standstill Obligation described in the 8-K to which they are precluded from trading Avaya equity linked securities.
Curiously, the next day on June 24, Avaya issued another 8-K which indicated it upsized the $150 million Exchange Note to $250 million, while downsizing Brigade Capital to $125 million and spreading the remaining $125 million to a second salvo of institutional investors. Also, the June 24 8-K did not include any language related to a Standstill Obligation.
That same day on June 24, Avaya shares traded down 25% on 20 million shares of volume. It certainly appears that the hedge funds who participated in the upsized Exchange Note and who weren’t subject to a Standstill Obligation began shorting Avaya shares to hedge the conversion feature of the Exchange Note on that day between prices of $3.70 and $2.60.
Yet the mechanics of the Exchange Note are such that those hedge funds who are short Avaya shares via a market neutral hedge on the conversion feature of the Exchange Notes they hold are precluded from exchanging the Notes into shares until AVYA trades over 130% of the Exchange Price ($4.30) — or $5.60 per share — for 20 of 30 Trading Days preceding the end of a calendar quarter, starting October 1, 2022.
That condition has not been met to exchange the notes in October, so the next window to exchange the notes is January 2023, provided AVYA is over $5.60 for the 20 of 30 trading days preceding December 31, 2022. Put another way, those Exchange Note holders are naked short AVYA shares until they can convert their notes to shares. Should AVYA shares begin to move back to ~$3 where the Exchange Note holders started their hedging campaign on June 24, those who are short with market neutral hedges will have to cover via open market buys as they won’t be able to deliver shares via the Exchange Notes until at least January 2023.
This is the essence of what could create a potential “short squeeze” and has another positive effect: it allows Avaya to deleverage by $250 million and save $20 million interest annually if AVYA shares appreciate over the $5.60 level outlined in the Indenture and notes are exchange for equity. While this would create some dilution to the equity, the benefits of the deleveraging event would outweigh the dilution in my view, particularly for shareholders buying in at levels under $4.30.
With trading volumes increasing and clear bid support under the shares since the new, long-term oriented anchor shareholder (and no investment mandate or need to report monthly, quarterly or yearly results to investment partners) coupled with the mechanics of the market neutral hedging via the Exchange Notes, I believe there could be a significant mean reversion opportunity in Avaya shares as Mr. Masarek executes his plan and bankruptcy fears recede.
If the company does indeed announce some positive developments around entering FY2023 with a clean financial slate in the days or weeks ahead, I believe it could result in an appreciable move higher in the stock for both fundamental and technical reasons given the high short interest, limited free float and high trading volumes.
Moreover, given Avaya is currently delinquent on its Q3 10Q filing and the company warned about its ability to continue as a going concern (likely at the direction of Avaya’s auditing firm, PwC), this likely caused forced selling in the stock in July and August. Issuing the 10Q, paying off the 2023 bonds and illustrating in detail its fully funded FY23 business plan could result in the removal of language around the going concern. In other words, once the 2023 bonds are redeemed and taking into account the $250 million cost cuts coupled with Avaya’s largely recurring revenue streams now, the company should have adequate liquidity to operate for more than 12 months and warrant the removal of the going concern warning.
These issues could prevent some institutions from currently investing in the shares, so if each is remediated, it could provide additional institutional buying pressure. And lastly, if Avaya shares increase over $5 per share, that could remove another potentially restrictive condition that allows institutions to buy Avaya shares.
During GITEX Global this week, Avaya (NYSE: AVYA), a global leader in solutions to enhance and simplify communications and collaboration, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Startek (NYSE: SRT), a global customer experience (CX) solutions provider, that will see the two companies partner to make it easier for global businesses to meet the ever-evolving needs of their customers.
As part of the MOU, Startek will explore hosting a range of Avaya OneCloud portfolio solutions with the intent of making them available to businesses in a compelling package that includes contact centre agents and institutional expertise in customer experience. This one-stop solution will be made available through a subscription-based pricing model, enabling organisations to purchase the capacity, services and people they require, as and when needed, without large upfront costs.
The agreement will aim to create a packaged solution of both technology and services that can be extended to Startek customers globally, with the technology built on the Avaya OneCloud experience platform.
“Startek enables brands across the globe to build long-term customer relationships through the delivery of human-centric experiences,” said Abhinandan Jain, Chief Digital Officer, Startek. “In today’s economic climate, small and medium-sized businesses want to avoid large upfront costs and make the best use of their internal resources by outsourcing non-core activities. By partnering with Avaya, we create the opportunity for emerging enterprises to benefit from market-leading CX delivered through a bundled data, people and technology solution – all at a fixed monthly cost.”
“We’re coming together to address a market need – namely, to make it easy for businesses to consume a technology platform, along with market-leading people and processes. Working together, we’re able to extend the benefits of the reliability and expertise that industry leaders such as Avaya and Startek bring to the market,” said Nidal Abou-Ltaif, President, Avaya International.
This collaboration will enable businesses to deliver better experiences to their customers through an all-inclusive, easy-to-manage subscription-based service. This will help them roll-out new services faster and significantly reduce the total cost of ownership to deliver a better return on investments.
Cloud communications firm Avaya has announced a new strategic partnership with Wavenet, a UK-based cloud telecoms and technology provider, to deliver its unified communications as a service (UCaaS) offering to the UK channel.
The collaboration combines UCaaS and contact centre as a service (CCaaS) with its own bundled calls and minutes to help businesses deliver enhanced experiences for customers. Wavenet will act as a wholesale service provider and tier 1 value-added reseller (VAR) across the UK.
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Partners will be able to benefit from a self-service managed platform that allows customisation, customer control, as well as the ability to bill customers directly.
Announcing the move at the GITEX Global conference, the pair said the collaboration will enable UK-based organisations to deliver “effortless, best-in-class experiences” for both customers and employees during every interaction.
“Our partners are serving customers in a business environment that has changed significantly over the past couple of years, and against that backdrop, it’s no surprise that demand for cloud-based communications experience technology has increased,” said Antony Black, director of wholesale at Wavenet.
“By offering the combination of the Avaya market-leading UCaaS and CCaaS experience technology with Wavenet’s bundled voice plans, we are able to provide the wholesale partners with a fully self-service managed platform allowing them to control their customers and more importantly bill directly.”
Expected to be available to Wavenet customers and its network of UK wholesale channel partners in Q1 2023, the combined offering can be rolled out to customers within hours, while customisations for more complex infrastructures can be made “quickly and easily”, the pair said.
Fadi Moubarak, Avaya’s vice president of channels, added that the agreement with Wavenet will enable joint partners to “position an enterprise-class solution without the enterprise-class pricing”.
“Being natively cloud-based, the platform will keep customers at the cutting edge in terms of feature sets, and can be flexibly tailored and deployed in diverse ways to match the requirements of any business,” he said.
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