03 Nov 2011
Ovum recently attended Avaya’s annual channel partner conference in Bangkok, and was briefed about the company’s partner strategy and future plans.
Overall, Avaya managed to integrate the Nortel business in Asia-Pacific without major disruptions, and seems to be on track to grow the business through its partners. It has made some progress in listening to customers and partners and addressing their short-term needs.
But there are still channel issues to be resolved, and Avaya needs to better communicate its vision and long-term plans, especially around cloud computing.
Avaya reaffirmed its commitment to a partner-enabled business model, and recognized that there are still issues to be resolved. Partners are asking for more clarity and consistency from Avaya’s channel partner program, especially around how the accounts are divided between the company and its partners. We think that the quarter of Avaya’s business that remains direct may still represent a barrier to a more solid relationship with some of its major partners.
Overall, however, there is good reason for optimism across the region. Partners in Asia-Pacific are very positive about the general business environment in the communications and collaboration industry. According to a survey of delegates conducted by Avaya prior to their arrival, 90% of its partners expect business to grow in 2012, with more than half of those expecting strong single-digit or double-digit growth in the next year.
Services is another area that Avaya needs to position carefully to avoid conflict with partners. The company has made clear that it wants its partners to grow their support services and managed services businesses. However, with an increasing focus on professional services to support the transition from products to a solution approach, it has to be clear how high it wants to go in the services stack, and what it will delegate to partners. Continuing to work on a case-by-case basis might give additional grounds to partners’ complaints about clarity and consistency.