Avaya Ditches 400 UK Resellers

In December 2012, Avaya, a leading global provider of next-generation business collaboration and communications solutions, kept its promise to eliminate 400 bit-part channel partners in an attempt to draw in a higher standard of resellers. The company now claims that in doing so it has been able to reduce both the cost and the complexity of its training methods and intends to begin rebuilding part of its foundation.

Back in July 2012, Avaya UK chief Simon Culmer announced that Avaya intended to cut back its 800-strong dealer network by 50 percent, axing those who were merely tactical vendors and were also lacking in up-to-date accreditations.

"Four hundred of those were doing less than $5,000 a year with a total spending of under $1 million," Culmer explained. "We are now back to recruiting and are looking for four strategic integrators for the enterprise and 90 to focus on the SMB space."

The move left a sales vacuum of around $800,000, and Avaya is attempting to attract more reseller partners with a new program under the name of Recruit, On board, Authorize, Develop and Sustain (ROADS). The global program for UK distributors ScanSource, Avnet and Westcon aims to bring new partners on board with the utmost speed and efficiency. ROADS was created based on extensive consultation with the three UK distributers who are already on board.

Avaya has also developed the Learning Virtual Campus. A part of AvayaLive Engage, the program is somewhat like SecondLife and it allows partners to log in and engage in various courses. They can usually become accredited within two months. According to Culmer, this not only makes the learning and accreditation process more streamlined, it also cuts the cost by eliminating travel and accommodation expenses. Avaya will pay distributers $3,000 for each video or networking partner or SME that takes the training course and achieves a revenue goal within one year.

"It's one of the most comprehensive on-boarding programs we've seen and the extensive background consultation and preparation Avaya has carried out is testimony to its on-going promise to be easier to do business with," said David Grant, senior vice president for Westcon convergence.

Culmer added, "We are set up with three distributors and we are happy with that. They are stable and they complement each other well. I have no plans to add more, we do not want to become over-distributed." (CU) Link


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