EMC-Catalyst Telecom Partnership to Offer EMC-Avaya IP Office Bundles
An OEM partnership between EMC and Catalyst Telecom was announced last week at the Advantage 2013 partner conference, and will mean that EMC storage is bundled with Avaya's IP Office unified communications suite and provide the bundled solution via the channel.
The new partnership with EMC will be a game changer for partners and will provide them with storage play so IP Office users' needs can be met.
The vice president of merchandising at Catalyst Telecom, a business unit of distributor ScanSource, Mike Ferney, said: "We're the biggest seller of [IP Office] in the world. We were selling on the order of 10,000 units a year. And, out of those, about 30 percent - or 3,000 of them - required storage. So when our team would say 'here's the solution, here's what you need, here's the Avaya part of it, now go buy storage,' there was a hole."
The need for storage is expected to increase with the launch of IP Office 8.1, which is the most recent product launched by Avaya. In the past, previous versions of IP Office could only scale up to 250 users, whereas IP Office 8.1 can aid up to 1,000 users, which overall, will create more data as well as a need for enterprise-grade storage.
Customer-facing interviews are also being recorded and reported on, and this creates more data and calls for a better storage solution for contact centers. By bundling Avaya's IP Office with EMC's VNX or VNXe unified storage solutions, Catalyst Telecom will be able to sell these without partnering with certified EMC partners. However, Catalyst can make use of the sales training initiatives from Catalyst Telecom and take part in a launch project for the project.
The managing partner at Roanoke, Virginia-based solution provider Professional Network Services, Gary Klik, said that the IP Office and EMC solution bundle was more a "niche" offering for call center clients, stating: "I'm thinking it's more for higher-end users. If there is either a legal or archiving requirement, this could fill that niche."
For Avaya, the new bundle is not the first connection to the storage giant; last month the company launched its Collaboration Pod which is a bundled solution collating Avaya's UC technologies, EMC's VNX 5300 unified storage range, and VMware's vSphere ESXi 5.0 computer servers.
The vice president at Avaya's Americas Channel Sales, Karl Soderlund, stated that the OEM partnership between EMC Catalyst Telecom for IP Office is suited for traditional voice solution providers that are keen to become involved in storage space, particularly as many work with Catalyst (Avaya's biggest distributor partner).
Soderlund stated: "Many of our traditional voice partners look to get complementary technologies; a very logical complementary technology is storage... this still allows Catalyst to be their distributor of choice and to sell a whole array of products."
The OEM relationship with EMC is different from other vendor-distributor relationships, and Ferney stated that Catalyst Telecom may pursue a distributor relationship with EMC later on. Ferney said: "That's not on the table today... but we certainly view them as the kind of partner we'd love to work with."
Ferney added that EMC's VNX or VNXe solution could be bundled with other voice solutions such as ShoreTel Products from Aruba Networks and Extreme Networks, or products residing in other ScanSource business units outside of Catalyst Telecom. He added: "Possibly before the year is out, but certainly within the next 12 months, we will be releasing additional solutions." (CY) Link