Avaya revamps channel programme



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1 April 2005 | 0

Avaya has revamped its channel partner programme and introduced a number of new features, including a certification ‘calculator’ and a new marketing-specific fund.

The certification calculator is a tool designed to provide for easier navigation and management of a reseller’s participation in the Avaya Business Partner Programme. It depicts a partner’s certification status on a single page of the Avaya partner website.

Resellers will be allocated a number of ‘points’ according to a range of different areas from sales, product authorisation and customer service. Points can also be accumulated from a number of new areas in the programme, including marketing support, customer satisfaction and professional certification.

The more points a reseller scores, the greater the benefits, such as increased funding from Avaya.
The calculator will be available to VARs and distributors so they can work out what they would need to add to improve this accreditation. In order to ensure that resellers develop a reasonable ‘breadth and balance’ of skills development through the calculator, the firm has ruled that no more than 35 per cent of certification allocation can come from one area alone.

Speaking at the Avaya Forum in Barcelona last month, Dave Payette, Avaya’s channel development and programme marketing director for EMEA, said the new programme was a concerted attempt to improve aspects of the current programme that were not working.

Avaya will calculate each reseller and distributor’s standing on a quarterly basis. However, a fall in accreditation will be applied only after a nine-month period, in which the reseller has time to redress problems. ‘We don’t talk about requirements, but about performance opportunities,’ said Payette.

Payette also revealed that there would be a ‘growth bonus allowance’ made available for vendors’ different EMEA countries depending on how small their markets are. This would create a ‘level playing field’ for vendors across the different territories.

The Avaya Marketing Fund will be made more accessible under the new programme, as the firm feels the funds are under-used at present. On the partner portal website, users will be provided with a marketing fund ‘bank statement’ that will give them an instant view of marketing activity as well as how much funding is available.
The new Business Partner programme will run in tandem with the existing partner programme until January 2004 when the new one takes over.

John Sharpe, Avaya’s Ireland sales director, told Channels he hoped the new programme would strength its current ties with Irish partners, which include Esat BT and Allnet. The company has been expanding its Irish channel of late and now reports that just under 50 per cent of revenues are derived from the indirect channel, a ‘significant’ increase on the previous year, according to Sharpe.
‘We do need to be careful, however, of expanding the number of business partners we have because Ireland is such a small and highly competitive market,’ said Sharpe.

Avaya recently reported revenues of $1.12bn for its fourth quarter ended September 30th compared with sales of $1.15bn for the same period last year. Its net loss dropped from $666m in 2002 to $88m in 2003.


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