Midmarket, Security Staff Acquisition & Development

Avaya: Emerging From Chapter 11 Bankruptcy In Summer 2017?

John Sullivan
John Sullivan

Avaya will file a reorganization plan in March 2017, and if everything goes well the unified communications company could emerge from its chapter 11 bankruptcy by summer 2017, according to VP and Corporate Treasurer John Sullivan.

Those statements and more emerged in a letter from Sullivan to NoJitter readers published today. Sullivan assures customers and partners that the company has maintained R&D spending levels, while experiencing "minimal" employee turnover related to the bankruptcy filing. He also states -- point blank -- the company will remain in business.

Sullivan's letter reinforces a steady drumbeat of Avaya business updates. The company celebrated partner and customer wins at the recent Engage 2017 conference in Las Vegas. Ahead of that gathering, Sullivan penned a similar letter to Network World, in which he expressed confidence in the ongoing business.

Rivals like Cisco Systems, Mitel and ShoreTel have attempted to capitalize on Avaya's bankruptcy. But partners like ScanSource say business engagements between Avaya and its channel ecosystem remain well-focused.

Avaya Pension Payments

The situation looks relatively promising for Avaya partners and customers. Avaya retirees, meanwhile,  are closely watching the chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings for clues about the company's pension plans. While traditional pension payments have continued, Avaya stopped paying supplemental pension benefits on Feb. 1 to certain retirees until further notice, according to The Wall Street Journal.

In response to that report, an Avaya spokesperson offered this statement to ChannelE2E: "Avaya continues to make qualified pension payments in the normal course during the chapter 11 process.  However, the Company does not have the Court’s authority to make supplemental pension payments – which represent an additional amount above the IRS compensation or benefit limits on qualified pension plans – at this point in time.”

ChannelE2E will continue to track Avaya's reorganization plan for additional details.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.