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EXCLUSIVE: Avaya promises continued channel investments (+40 photos)

EXCLUSIVE: Avaya promises continued channel investments (+40 photos)

Focus on skills and education to continue to maintain channel-centricity

Avaya Australia and New Zealand (A/NZ) managing director, Tim Gentry, has promised to continue the communications solutions vendor's heavy channel investment on the back of its transformation from 65 to 100 per cent channel-led a year since his appointment.

Avaya is a vendor of business communications and collaboration systems.

Speaking to more than 100 partners at a sales education event in Sydney, Gentry said Avaya A/NZ has operated entirely through the channel over the past two quarters, and intends to push further disruptive skills initiatives.

This is to allow partners to present their value-add differentiator in order to deliver contextually-appropriate solutions to customers.

"The value of what we are doing and why is that customers can see [Avaya's partners] in a different light to competitors, and therefore remember [them]," Gentry said.

Another reason is because "Statistics show Australian businesses will spend 15 to 20 per cent more if they see the value add," according to Gentry.

His goal is to - in unison with partners - take advantage of the 87 per cent of the marketplace which either does not have some sort of a video solution in place, or does not utilise existing deployments due to operational complexities or inefficiencies.

Gentry told ARN the investments will go towards: enhancing the vendor's eisting partner portal in order to grow the educational resources available; promotions whereby partners' sales teams will be incentivised to promote competitiveness (for example, Avaya has an SME campaign which will see top resellers get sent to Vegas); consistency to maintain channel-centricity rather than taking direct sales opportunities for an immedate dollar gain.

"Our growth has been about transparency," Gentry said. "I work closely with partners; I meet with business owners and leaders, and we work together to build roadmaps to tie our companies closer together."

On the back of local success (on which he could not comment further), Gentry also told ARN he continues to look for further additions to the company's channel ecosystem, but will not sign box-movers. In addition, he is looking to hire further channel managers in order to manage partner numbers effectively.

Moving forward, the vendor's three major focus areas will be the small to medium enterprise (SME) market (in which the vendor achieved 50 per cent growth year to date), growth in video, and the contact centre space.


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