CRN Interview: Avaya Channel Leader On Breaking Down Barriers To Growth After Bankruptcy

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Re-Energizing Partnerships

Gary Levy says Avaya's channel operation barely skipped a beat during the better part of a year that the company was in Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Now that the unified communications company has emerged from that situation, Levy, vice president of U.S. channels, says he's ready to kick partner recruitment and cloud-based business models into high gear.

"We have made significant improvements in our business model," Levy told CRN in a recent interview. "We're re-energizing our partnerships and continuing to recruit cloud integrators, agents, affiliates. We have relationships with many more different types of partners than we have in past years."

Burdened by nearly $6 billion in debt and an under-funded pension plan, the Santa Clara, Calif., company filed for bankruptcy last January. The company reached an agreement in May to sell its networking business to Extreme Networks, and it officially emerged from bankruptcy last month with a new board of directors and CEO, Jim Chirico.

Avaya's debt load has been halved, and Levy said the company now has access to $350 million in cash on its balance sheet he said will be used, in part, to fund research and development.

Levy said the company's channel operation didn't suffer under bankruptcy, but is now poised to make decisions and act faster, especially in hybrid cloud, where the company is asking partners to focus considerable energy.

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