Avaya adds more channel resources for collaboration

Las Vegas – With the Flare collaboration experience now in the marketplace, Avaya has boosted its Connect Partner Program with more skills training and certification offers specifically for collaboration solutions.Under the Avaya Connect program, channel partners will have access to new technology certifications, business management and marketing curricula along with a partner Help Desk and Deal Desk.

Avaya worldwide channel chief Jeremy Butt said the company is still working on competency training programs to make them more clearer on new policies and where to get trained. New to program will be data expert and video expert badges which are expected to be ready for partners starting in January. “We knew the training part was going to be hard but we are going to get more rigorous with our specializations,” Butt said.

The Avaya Certified Solutions Architect specialization for unified communications and contact center has also been added to the Connect program. The deal desk has just finished a pilot in Canada, Butt added. He believes Deal Desk will help Avaya partners sell globally.Butt told his top North American based channel partners at the Avaya Partner Conference, held here, there are only two ways to build channel program; through competency or with volume. “We are at the half way house stage and we are pushing towards the value side; to the competency side and away from volume and transaction business,” he said.

With no details were presented Butt announced that in 2012 Avaya will have a customer satisfaction component to its Connect Partner program.

The customer satisfaction component as well as the new competency requirements did not sit too well with one top Avaya partner at this conference.

Roger Junkermier, president of Cerium Networks of Spokane, Wash., said the new competency levels to earn platinum status could increase his head count.

“Competency levels are about buying power and in order to get to that next level how much additional revenue will that be and what is my expense and will it be a better than break even prospect,” he said.

The problem Junkermier has with customer satisfaction is that those customer who take the survey don’t dare to mark a three or less out of five because if they do they will be bombarded with 50 more questions. “Avaya has to do customer satisfaction correctly. It does have a role but it has to be meaningful and it has to be about partner effectiveness with the customer rather than touting that your customer satisfaction number is the highest in the industry,” Junkermier said.

Avaya Connect will also feature a partner relationship management database, business development and market development funds, a channel partner Web registration site and an updated Avaya University portal.

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Paolo Del Nibletto
Paolo Del Nibletto
Former editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.

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