Channel partners of business communications solutions vendor, Avaya, are beginning to feel the impact of the vendor's growth in Australia and New Zealand (A/NZ) over the past 12 months as more resellers are joining the network in an already-competitive environment.
According to SMB phone systems solutions provider and Avaya partner of three years, Commander Centre, the effect of the significant increase in telecommunications dealers in the past year (including the increase in Avaya's network) alongside the availability of solutions at lower price points is creeping in.
"When we get an opportunity to meet with a potential customer, we have to make the most of it, and make a lasting impression," Commander Centre director, James Anderson, said. "There are lots of people selling a similar solution, and in addition, there's the challenge of giving customers a valid reason to update their existing technology. We have one shot."
While Anderson is satisfied with his company's relationship with Avaya, he told ARN the vendor is becoming a victim of its own success.
"[Avaya has] seen growth here in A/NZ so there are more people selling it causing more and more channel conflict where we are up against more resellers positioning the same product. As a result, you have to be careful you don't impact the price point and cause an undercutting war to create business."
At the same time, Anderson said he is not opposed to Avaya's goal of growing its channel further so long as it recruits value-add partners who contribute to the generation of business for the entire ecosystem.
"Those businesses who invest the time to build a full solution can be easily undercut," he said. "Those who push boxes and use a website have a negative impact on us. I don't mind [Avaya] increasing their number of partners so long as they bring on board those who are going out there, finding new customers, investing, and creating demand for the product."
In a separate interview, Avaya A/NZ managing director, Tim Gentry, told ARN his perspective is on par with Anderson's, and said he continues to look for further additions to the company's ecosystem, but will not sign box-movers.
Make it personal
Although Anderson has access to a greater number resources and support from Avaya than the other vendors with which Commander Centre does business, he said he hopes to see more delivered through in-office visits in addition to existing initiatives.
"A vendor can always do more. The more it engages, the more mindshare it gets. The more often someone is in our office, the more information we have."
"You can have webinars and seminars and send salespeople to conferences, but if the vendor can be in office at the time [salespeople] are doing proposals and quotes, it can offer advice and deliver information more effectively," Anderson said.
As a result, he said salespeople will be more relevant to a potential customer through contextualised solution and pricing propositions.
Is your business experiencing similar sales challenges as a result of competition? If so, contact Nermin Bajric at email@example.com.