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After successfully completing its debt restructuring and emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the US, communications solutions provider Avaya says it will increase its focus on strengthening research and development (R&D) in India to cut cost and improve the time-to-market of products. The California-based company says it will use India’s vast talent base to build new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) which its customers want. Avaya says it is even open to acquiring Indian start-ups which fit the bill to grow locally as well as globally. “We will keep building capabilities here (in India), it’s part of our business evolution plan. The restructuring is done and now it’s back to business. We are already evaluating where to invest and India is very high on that list,” said Laurent Philonenko, global chief technology officer, Avaya. Currently, over 45 per cent of Avaya’s R&D already happens in India, with the company’s latest communications platforms being built here.
According to Philonenko, the company isn’t just looking at outsourcing work to India but also at evolving solutions for the Indian market which can then be taken to other countries.India already represents one of the top 10 markets for Avaya. With the upcoming Smart Cities projects and even the growth of new-age banks, the company is looking to partner with start-ups and firms, and pitch for winning orders. “As far as sales are concerned, we are increasing manpower by 20 per cent. While I do that, I am doubling my channel capacity and we are investing heavily there in training, enabling and acquiring new segments. Through this, we expect to grow our revenues from India by around 15-20 per cent,” said Vishal Agrawal, managing director for India and Saarc. Avaya is also confident about winning contracts for its new-age communications networks product from start-ups which are gaining scale. Aggarwal says as fin-tech start-ups acquire scale, they would be looking at ways to more efficiently manage their networks and boost security of transactions, an area where Avaya can help. The other big opportunity would be to offer AI and ML solutions to companies which feel these are being disrupted by start-ups. Avaya is also targeting e-commerce and the health care industry.