One of the world’s biggest manufacturers of IP Telephony and VoIP solutions, Avaya this week filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in a bid to realign, refocus and rebrand its business as hardware sales drop and investment in software booms.
Avaya has jumped before it was pushed, jumped into a life boat and in doing so will ensure its customers are looked after, its people safe and its brand protected; an option when you have hundreds of millions in guaranteed financial backing.
But what is the situation for others? Smaller hardware vendors without the VC backing, without the same high turnover and without the world-class brand? It is a difficult future for them to predict.
Our business has always focussed on software, we know where the future is for digital signage, IPTV and video streaming, and we know it involves virtual servers and end point devices (Smart TVs, Mobiles, Laptops and so on) with very little in between. You need only look at trends in the display industry and encoding and streaming industries to know that this is where our technology is moving.
In the future there will be no signage players, for example, no on-site head end.
When you consider the convergence of AV and IT too there are some serious risks to a number of tech businesses around the world.
As a software developer we have protected our clients by using standards based hardware, we develop for other’s technology and find ways to deliver our media and content in any environment.
Whether its video streaming to mobiles, to an interactive IPTV portal, digital signage screen or thin client PC, virtual servers or cloud deployments, we are answering these challenges already, in preparation for the market demand to hit critical mass.
Avaya is the first crack in the hardware manufacturer bubble, a company hurt by softphones and apps and a highly competitive market, but they certainly won’t be the last.
The industry has a decision to make, do we evolve or do we fail; there isn’t really a choice to be made when you look at it that way?