Avaya's competitors have lost their biggest sales tactic, with the vendor set to exit Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to UK managing director Ioan MacRae.
Avaya today announced that it expects to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection by the end of the year, drawing to a conclusion a 10-month period of financial uncertainty that also saw it offload its networking business to Extreme Networks.
The bankruptcy announcement left Avaya indebted to a number of channel partners, including World Wide Technology and SHI.
This Chapter 11 saga will however be brought to a close in the next two weeks, with Avaya set to eventually list on the New York Stock Exchange.
MacRae told CRN that the Avaya UK business was able to continue to grow its revenue for three consecutive quarters throughout the period in Chapter 11.
We had to ensure customers understood that Avaya was going to come out of this a far stronger and healthier company in terms of balance sheet, and that all the way through this we've continued to plough millions of dollars - 16 per cent of our [product] revenue - into R&D," he said.
"Our road map never ceased. Many customers have waited until this moment in time before any major investments, which are now slowly coming through, but we haven't lost customers at all - in fact we've grown the UK revenue-wise for the last three quarters on the trot.
"There will always be exceptions. It's a big market and we're talking thousands of customers in a hugely competitive market. I can count on one hand any deals where we lost to the competition, but they were never existing Avaya customers - all of those we've maintained."
Despite the UK business continuing to perform, MacRae admitted to becoming frustrated at the marketing tactics of Avaya's competitors, some of which blew Avaya's financial difficulties out of proportion.
"When it's reported factually there's nothing we can say because it's true, but when it's an exaggeration with no truth at all, that annoys me and it annoys my sales team," he explained.
"There wasn't a lot we could do because we were in C11, so I got the sales team together and said to them 'know your products better than anyone and know your customer better than anyone, because when December comes and our competition have lost their first sales tactic on Avaya in Chapter 11, you'll be the strongest sales team in the market'.
"Now the competition have to relearn their sales strategy come January because we'll be out of C11 and we'll have listed.
"So the frustration was the exaggeration of truth - I didn't want to go out and fight it, and we were to some extent on the back foot - but having that removed out of the market is a huge weight off everyone's shoulders."
Avaya will leave Chapter 11 with around $2.9bn (£2.16bn) of debt and a $300m asset-based lending facility, compared with the $6bn of debt it had when it started its restructure.
Avaya CEO Jim Chirico added: "The court's approval of our plan is the culmination of months of hard work and extensive negotiations among our various stakeholders.
"In the coming weeks, Avaya will emerge from this process stronger than ever and positioned for long-term success, with the financial flexibility to create even greater value for our customers, partners and stockholders."
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