Why Avaya's New OneCloud Unified Branding is Important

eWEEK NETWORKING ANALYSIS: While names like Breeze and Zang were cool and catchy, it was often tough to figure out what product delivered which capability. The AvayaOne cloud brand will span the entire unified communications, contact center, collaboration and CPaaS (Communications Platform as a Service) product families.

Avaya.casual

This week Avaya announced it has updated its branding architecture under a single name for all of its products. The single name should help the company sell its products, because it's simpler to understand than all of the various names used before and allows them to focus on the value and benefits their solutions deliver. 

While names like Breeze and Zang were cool and catchy, it was often tough to figure out what product delivered which capability. The AvayaOne cloud brand will span the entire unified communications, contact center, collaboration and CPaaS (Communications Platform as a Service) product families. Former product names such as ReadyNow and IXCC will be dropped in favor of OneCloud branding. 

The OneCloud portfolio includes the following components, but more than only a renaming of the portfolio, it demonstrates how Avaya is developing new solutions going forward:

  • Avaya OneCloud CCaaS: This encompasses Avaya’s contact center solutions, including its recently launched public contact center solution. ReadyNow for contact center, its private cloud brand, is OneCloud CCaaS deployed in a private deployment model. 
  • Avaya OneCloud UCaaS: This includes Avaya Cloud Office, Spaces as well as ReadyNow for UC.
  • Avaya OneCloud CPaaS: The cloud API platform formerly known as Zang.io; CPaaS is a major area of focus for the company and it is expanding capabilities into new areas for DevOps and developers.

When I first heard about the branding updates, including dropping “IX” (which some thought was the Roman numeral 9), I wondered how it can be called OneCloud, because Avaya doesn’t have a single cloud. During a call with CMO Simon Harrison, he explained that OneCloud was more about the experiences the cloud delivers and how they are all connected. 

Harrison provided an example of a feature in the Spaces desktop app that recognizes the user and then offers the ability to have an authenticated video call. The Spaces product is built on Avaya’s CPaaS, which enables the company and its customers to exploit the benefits of the API economy. Down the road, Avaya could tie all of the OneCloud products together under a single license. This shifts the focus of Avaya away from what it sells to the experience it offers. 

Fabric that brings Avaya products together

A good way to think about OneCloud is that it’s the fabric that ties the Avaya products together. The world is moving to hybrid and multi-cloud, and Avaya’s OneCloud can offer a single experience--even though the back end might not be a singular cloud. 

For large enterprises, it’s likely that they will adopt a hybrid model of using private cloud for larger locations or regions where the SaaS model isn’t available and a SaaS model for smaller locations and telecommuters. OneCloud offers a way of tying those together and highlights the company as unique in its ability to offer UCaaS and CCaaS in private, public and hybrid deployments complemented with a CPaaS solution. 

Over time, CPaaS will grow increasingly more important as businesses look to embed communications features into business applications. Both Vonage Nexmo and Twilio discussed this trend on their most recent earnings call. 

This evolution in branding is a good move for Avaya. As I pointed out, given the size and scope of Avaya, it has had many brands that didn’t always convey the benefits of the solutions or necessarily reflect the company’s commitment to the cloud. Now that the portfolio is in place, Avaya needs to shift the language it uses to better reflect current times and to describe Avaya’s differentiation versus myriad other cloud providers, most of which offer UCaaS or CCaaS only in a public cloud model. Very few offer anything close to CPaaS. 

Customized roadmap to OneCloud

This also enables Avaya to offer a customized roadmap to OneCloud. Competitors and some analysts with a narrow view of the cloud might guffaw at this as a pure SaaS offering and the roadmap to the cloud. Just turn off the on-premises and move all the users. Easy peasy, right? Well, not so fast. 

Remember, Avaya’s customer base is made up of the “Who’s Who” of companies. The largest banks in the world, health-care organizations, government agencies and the majority of the Fortune 500 use Avaya technology, and they are not doing a hot cut of all their users.

These companies need to migrate at a pace at which they are comfortable while maintaining control of their own data and security policies, and that’s very difficult, if not impossible, to do with what people think of as “public” UCaaS and CCaaS. The simplification of the brand makes it easier to understand Avaya’s positioning and bring in the entire portfolio. As a company, Avaya has been talking about outcome-based selling for a couple of years, and the cleaned up positioning should make that easier as well. 

If one defines cloud as being inclusive of all flavors–private, public and hybrid–then Avaya should be recognized as having the most complete portfolio on the market. The OneCloud branding puts the focus on outcomes and experiences and takes it off the names. And that should make it much easier for customers to realize the benefits of now being in a cloud application ecosystem. 

Zeus Kerravala is an eWEEK regular contributor and the founder and principal analyst with ZK Research. He spent 10 years at Yankee Group and prior to that held a number of corporate IT positions.