Avaya changes tack as it guns for growth in 2011

Avaya changes tack as it guns for growth in 2011

Unified communications vendor, Avaya, has outlined its strategy for 2011, announcing a shift in company direction and channel investment.

Avaya Asia-Pacific president, Francois Lancon, stressed Avaya was changing from a commodity to a solutions business.

“”We’re in a position where we can move our business from a commodity business, where there’s going to be more and more price pressure, to a solutions business. It’s a very different game,” Lancon told the audience at its Asia-Pacific partner conference in Macau, China.

“We want our partners to make money, be profitable and we don’t want to over distribute.

“2011 is really going to be about how we change our game and it’s all about growing, but growing profitably.”

Lancon said the Asia-Pacific market was the fastest growing region for Avaya globally. A year ago, it had about 300 sales people and by the end of March it will have about 600 staff across Asia-Pacific.

“Being the fastest growing region, means we get the most investment,” he said.

Lancon indicated the vendor still had work to do around aligning its services strategy with its channel strategy.

“There’s a lot of work going on behind the scenes with the services and channel teams to make sure that over the next three months, we’ll have that completely aligned,” he said.

In January, it will also introduce a Deals Desk to give partners a more responsive avenue to discounts on Avaya products. It also plans to open a couple more R&D facilities across Asia-Pacific during this fiscal year.

Avaya indicated two key focus areas for the channel around partner enablement and profitability.

“We’re now training people before the availability of products in the market, and put in data bootcamps in China, Australia and India, which is a large investment,” Lancon said. “We’re investing in training and there’s a lot of focus on value and solution training, but it’s critical and so is enablement.”

“We’re on track with our 2011 plans and we’re in good shape to double our business in the next three years,” he said.

The vendor conducted a survey among 200 Asia Pacific partners, which revealed partners were expecting to see growth within unified communications and collaboration, Software-as-a-Service and Communications-as-a-Service, video and data networking.

Lancon touched on the integration of the Nortel business and said it had been a smooth process, but it did experience issues with end-user licensing in some areas in the Asia Pacific such as India and China, export and supply chain problems.

“We have a long term plan to fix them, but the road is still going to be rocky for a couple of quarters,” he said. “We’re working on it and it’s not perfect, but it’s getting better.”

Julia Talevski attended the 2011 Avaya Connect Asia-Pacific Partner Conference as a guest of Avaya.

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