Innovation from India is helping customers across the globe: Vijay Mhaskar, Avaya

12 Jun 2015
A few years back, Avaya was largely known as a call center connectivity company. Over the last couple of years, the communications company from California has evolved as a software infrastructure company. Its India development centers have played a big role in this evolution. Vijay Mhaskar, who heads Avaya's R&D centers in India, tells ET how India is defining the company's journey, and how difficult it is to stay relevant in a continuously disruptive market.
 
How key a market is India for Avaya?
India is going through a phenomenal transformation. During his last visit to India, Kevin Kennedy, President and CEO, Avaya, addressed India's CXO community and said that India is undergoing a digital transformation and ensuring last mile connectivity in a country with population of more than 1.7 billion people is a humongous task. Avaya India is committed to this digital transformation. For more than four decades, Avaya has been a strong partner for large businesses in the country which represent the BPO industry on the global map. Our call center technology enabled that transformation and has helped some of the large Indian brands expand globally.
 
With changing trends, Avaya India has evolved its solutions and technologies to be relevant with today's disruptive trends. This is in sync with Avaya's vision to accelerate Digital India and Make in India mandate by using the talent pool in the country to deliver opportunities to innovate and grow.
 
How is Avaya using India as a development and innovation hub?
India is Avaya's largest research/innovation and development center outside US. Since the inception of Avaya, India R&D hub has been contributing to a number of flagship products & solutions globally. More than 25 per cent of our global patents are from India. India centers are also leveraging the customer base to validate the new innovative solutions, which get deployed globally. Additionally, the role of Avaya R&D has evolved from building solutions to owning the end-to-end life cycle of innovations, from conceptualization, to design, testing and all the way to go to market. This is a phenomenal transformation and can only make Avaya more relevant to our customers in India and beyond.
 
How much of Avaya's global development is happening out of India?
More than 30 per cent of product & solution development happens in our Pune, Hyderabad & Bangalore R&D Hubs. This indicates a significant contribution to our global revenues from India across all sectors in the past 1 year which includes sales, services and R&D.
 
Is Avaya making for India, in India? What are some solutions that are being made to suit Indian market requirements?
We have been developing some key feature functionality which suits Indian customers and addresses regulations. As a standard approach, we have been constantly modifying our solutions to meet Indian requirements. As per Indian regulations, mixing of VOIP and PSTN traffic is not permitted. Avaya products implemented the toll-bypass feature so that customers are protected from violating the Indian regulation. In most cases the innovation from India is helping customers across the globe. Our Avaya Private Cloud Services team is doing a phenomenal work on the ground with some of our largest customers. You cannot take a boxed solution today and apply it everywhere. Having the R&D setup in India delivers tremendous value thus helping us craft solutions that are built to fit-for-purpose and based on open standards, giving us a huge flexibility to design and deliver what India needs.
 
With government unveiling a range of connectivity initiatives- what role does Avaya hope to play with the government sector? And what is your approach there?
There is a huge opportunity which Avaya foresees in 'Digital India' mandate. We have a role to play as our technology is uniquely positioned to accommodate the applications that India needs. India requires a new generation of networking, which is low cost, agile and secure. The R&D team in Bangalore has built a networking technology named SDN FX (Software Defined Networking Fabric Extended), which stands ahead of the market by more than 24 We see this technology as the smart foundation for smart anything executing the Make in India vision, winning awards and customer recognition globally.