Looking to its partner channel to bolster the company's bottom line in 2013, Avaya Inc. this week announced new tools to streamline doing business with the company, as well as three unified communications suites.
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Avaya One Source, a global partner portal that's being rolled out worldwide to 9,000 Avaya Connect channel partners and distributors, consolidates processes and accelerates feedback, making it easier and faster for channel partners to do business and close deals with customers, according to the vendor.
That's good news for David Dart, CEO at Vive Communications, a 5-year-old Avaya Connect partner located in Quincy, Mass. "Anything that helps us get information to our customers more efficiently and faster is welcome," he said.
Up until now, Avaya partners had to use multiple tools for product configuration and quoting, a time-consuming process. Dart hopes that Avaya One Source will streamline doing business with Avaya. Vive Communications sells all Avaya solutions to midmarket customers.
Among key One Source features is a landing page that consolidates access to catalogs and pricing files, quote tools, special pricing requests, and order entry. The portal also includes an integrated quoting and ordering system with real-time pricing capability and a speedy quote-to-order process. The consolidation of pricing files and catalogs also includes discounting based on a partner's level to improve pricing consistency and clarity across regions.
For Tom Donahue, vice president of sales at Mac Source Communications Inc. of Syracuse, N.Y., seeing is believing. "I'll remain skeptical until I see it. Avaya has been talking about a new partner portal and new tools for a very long time," he said.
Mac Source, which was named the Avaya Connect Midmarket Partner of the Year in 2012, has been an Avaya partner for 15 years and has had a good run with the vendor and strong growth, expanding from six employees to its current 165. Mac Source offers the full suite of Avaya products to primarily midmarket customers.
New partner tools have nowhere to go but up, according to Donahue. "Avaya's track record for engineering tools isn't good, with many having systemic problems that make quoting difficult and unreliable," he said.
Building on its strategy to simplify its product offerings with prepackaged bundles, Avaya has introduced three new unified communications (UC) application suites:
- Foundation, a scalable, enterprisewide architecture for communications that includes clients enabled with Session Initiation Protocol, core telephony, messaging, instant messaging and presence, and desktop video clients.
- Mobility, which adds capabilities for remote, mobile and traveling workers, such as single-number access, bring-your-own-device features and secure remote access on top of Foundation.
- Collaboration: Builds upon Foundation and Mobility suites with collaboration capabilities such as video and multimodal conferencing. Scalable to tens of thousands of users, it uses distributed media and a "video routing" architecture.
Earlier this year, at its Partner Connection Day events, Avaya told channel partners its goal was to grab a bigger piece of the $8.8 billion global midmarket (which includes companies with 1,000 or fewer employees) for UC solutions.
In the first quarter of 2013, Avaya reported revenue of $1.24 billion, down 2.9% compared with the previous quarter and down 10.6% compared with the first quarter of 2012.
Results for the second quarter of 2013 are expected after the market close on Thursday, May 9.