Avaya wants channel to follow the yellow brick road

CANCUN, MEXICO — Avaya‘s Americas International vice-president John DiLullo told more than 400 channel partners to follow him down the yellow brick road, which in his world is paved with gold, and target the data market place.

Data is one area of Avaya’s business that needs to be addressed, according to DiLullo. Avaya’s business in unified communications and contact centres has met expectations, especially in Canada where the contact centre products grew a whopping 296 per cent. The Canadian operation, led by Avaya Canada president Ross Pellizzari, grew 21 per cent.

But the data business needs to improve, and the company is putting more investment dollars in the channel to make it happen. DiLullo also said data solutions would be completely sold through the channel in the Americas International region, which consists of Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America.

“Far too many channel partners are just selling unified communications or contact centre and we need them to sell the complete portfolio. We’ve invested in training and we are fixing a few other areas. We are still hard to do business with in some areas,” he said.

The news isn’t all bad in data. DiLullo announced some major customer wins in Canada from Desjardins Financial, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. and the Government of Canada.

He also acknowledged that the solution provider community has moved from being an extension of a manufacturer’s sales force into a big part of a customer’s IT department as a trust advisor.

“VARs and SIs are looking for profit potential and with data, we can deliver that along with some long term TCO for the customer. VARs can also add-on to this sale with cables, data switches, phone and even furniture,” DiLullo said.

Avaya will also attempt to be at least 30 per cent cheaper than competitors in most of the Americas International markets to improve its fortunes in the data market.

The rest of DiLullo’s plan goes as follows:

– Improve sales effectiveness to drive opportunity and create demand with the channel;
– Drive product diversity and improve order-ability;
– Get aggressive with proof of concepts;
– Manage margin and expenses.

“We’re under-invested in data and with the small/medium enterprise. It’s not lucrative enough for the channel and the intention is to increase the dollars on spiffs, promos and marketing to help the channel make money on SMEs. We want to create a greenfield with channel on data.”

Follow Paolo Del Nibletto on Twitter: @PaoloCDN.

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

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