Avaya, the Phoenix that rose from the ashes and out of bankruptcy is reportedly in play to be acquired by an unnamed private equity player via an LBO. And that's great news for telecom startups and growing independent companies.
Avaya has had their share of ups and downs dating back to even before Silver Lake was their paymaster. The company, which has been many things to many, has been forging ahead with their hardware and software for some time. But they have also been moving more and more to the cloud, and there lies the opportunity for the startups and independents in a few catagories.
Where do I see the opportunities and best places to expect to see money flowing to or buying up?
Session Border Controllers - the gateway to all things are the SBCs. Think of them as the firewall, traffic cop and routing engine. Marry that up with billing and a few other dull and boring functions and you have the piece that makes your telecom money. The SBC is the guard at the door, the teller at the window and the key to the vault.
Device Management and Configuration - another not so sexy, but essential part of the telecom equation. As more and more of the telecom stack moves from the premise to the cloud there's more stress and strain on the reduced IT staff to keep things connected. As enterprise businesses switch from one carrier to another, hop from this service provider to the other the CFO doesn't want to be buying new hardware each time. Enter the Device Management and Configuration company in the cloud. They keep the endpoints running, connected and up to date. If they do their jobs, the IT tech ends up like the Maytag repairman....waiting for the call that never comes.
CPaaS - yes, CPaaS is going to have its day, and I don't mean the posers who are repackaging their ancient software, figuring out how to reducng it into little bits and the way a chop shop takes a stolen car and parts it out for more money than the car is worth. No, real CPaaS companies who bring enterprise customers solutions that work for them, not where the enerprise has to go to work for vendor by doing the work and fixing things.
WebRTC - let's face it, with most of the smart telecom people from the days of hardware doing other things, it's the software folks who are running the show. But it's the web types who get UI, UX, CX who are making things happen. Eventually they need real time communication and collaboration built into the modern day endpoint version of the phone, and that's where WebRTC comes in.
When the money comes into Avaya, then the market's smart money will start to look for hidden value. I feel it's in the four sectors above...so watch what happens.