Toronto – Last year Avaya’s Canadian subsidiary was the internal star of company, thanks in large part to reporting 296 per cent growth in IP Office, while exceeding expectations in unified communications.
By over performing the industry in 2010, Avaya Canada channel chief Renzo DiPasquale understood that his primary goal this year was to continue and build on that momentum.
On the job for just 15 months, DiPasquale decided to free up partner account managers’ time with channel partners by creating a group inside Avaya Canada that would focus on new product introductions, marketing and channel operations. While subtle, by removing some of the daily administrative chores he enabled partner account managers to work closer with channel partners on new and existing business opportunities.
DiPasqualle is also in recruitment mode, and in an interview on the show floor of the Avaya Evolutions Conference in Toronto he outlined his plan for boosting Avaya’s channel network.
The following is an edited transcript.
CDN Now: Small to medium business is more of a focus for Avaya these days. Why is that?
Renzo DiPasquale: We’re investing more in the small and mid-size enterprise market. The SME team is national and will continue to accelerate that business. I’ve extended this team by eight people. I believe there are three things that can help us grow here in SME with existing partners, with service providers and working with distributors to recruit and ramp up new partners. We’re looking to get about 40 new partners in the next 12 to 18 months.
CDN Now: You’re looking for more channel partners; you’ve made that clear to the market but what kind of partner is ideal for Avaya Canada?
R.D.: We’re looking for partners that can give us coverage for areas that are currently under-represented. I want to close those gaps with VARs that understand the technology and can leverage their expertise in the marketplace. We want to add partners in the data networking space. That is a growth area and a definite opportunity for us.
CDN Now: Bring your own device (BYOD) is a hot trend this year. What is the channel strategy for BYOD?
R.D.: With BYOD, the market is dictating it. The consumerization of IT has been going on for three years now. For a channel partner, you need to attack that and work seamlessly in your environment and not make it a headache for customers. It should be presence-based and content aware. Products such as Aura with the SIP infrastructure can promote this type of BYOD environment because it recognizes the content and the context, while being presence-based so it’s very transparent. You can walk into an environment and you’ll know it’s secure and you have the info you need to communicate and collaborate across the enterprise.
CDN Now: Avaya has stated that it’s now a collaboration company. What have you done to communicate this direction to the Canadian channel community?
R.D.: We’ve added to the phone system and we’ve added a social networking solution to our open platform. We’ve added video to the solution suite and integrated it on the latest tablets and smartphones. This is an evolved solution set and we now have the foundation where collaboration can take place and the solution providers can help customers move to that environment.I think they understand our direction and are training themselves on this technology. It will allow them to promote business collaboration solutions and if they gravitate to that, it will make them a better collaboration solution provider.