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Avaya Still ‘Enterprise-Centric,’ But Midmarket ‘Is Huge’

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Edward GatelyAVAYA EXECUTIVE PARTNER FORUM — A nearly $50 billion addressable market awaits Avaya and its partners in contact center, fabric-based networking, customer care, cloud, UC enterprise, professional services and UC midmarket.

Avaya's Steve BiondiThat’s according to Steve Biondi, vice president of Avaya’s Global Partner Organization. He hosted Monday’s opening presentation of Avaya’s Executive Partner Forum, being held this week in San Diego.

Hundreds of Avaya’s 10,500 active partners are participating in the forum.

Avaya is rapidly transforming into a software and services company, said Kevin Kennedy, Avaya’s CEO. He told partners that revenue from software and services has grown from 6 percent in 2007 to 72 percent today.

“These are the numbers of a software and services company,” he said. “You’ll see these numbers continue to expand.”

Biondi said Avaya’s growth this year will be a “lot more surgical in terms of our solution offerings to the enterprise, and midmarket more specifically.” The nearly $50 billion in addressable market includes $16 billion in the midmarket.{ad}

“The midmarket gives partners a better opportunity to sell what we call our full stack, which is pretty much everything in our portfolio, from SPC, security, the whole gamut of networking, video, all of our telephony features, audio conferencing and Web conferencing,” said Craig Iwata, Avaya’s senior director of product management and team engagement.

Bryan Dancer, president and CEO of Allegiant Technology, said he’s “pleased to see Avaya scaling up [its] small-business platform to serve the midmarket.” Allegiant has been an Avaya partner since 2004.

“Avaya had a lower-end product and they had a higher-end product, and the smaller one was capped … and the higher-end product just didn’t scale down well,” he said. “It’s now really win rate and market coverage with a single platform.”

Less than half of Avaya’s partners have a cloud strategy, so the company needs to recruit partners, Biondi said. Avaya needs “more and newer kinds of partners” to meet customers’ changing needs, he said.

“We’re very excited about bringing our partners along on our journey with cloud,” said Mike Kuch, Avaya’s senior director, segment leadership group for cloud. “We’re trying to find ways for the partners to …

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… add value and for the partners to be able to go where they feel most comfortable with our cloud solutions. We’re trying to find a home for everyone, and we’re not opposed at all to bringing in new partners.”

Avaya's Pierre-Paul AllardPart of Avaya’s transformation involves channel initiatives, including more investment in growth, simplifying and streamlining partner benefits, and a next-generation co-delivery partner program, Biondi said.

“We haven’t been as good a partner as we should have been, but we’re going to change that,” said Pierre-Paul Allard, Avaya’s senior vice president of worldwide sales and president of global field operations. “We can’t grow if you (partners) don’t grow. We really want to be able to show how we can grow together.”

The “new value proposition” is software and services, not infrastructure, and the new currency is speed, “how fast we can bring to market,” he said.

Two big growth opportunities for partners include Avaya’s Engagement Development Platform and fabric-based networking, Allard said. Avaya has more than 500 fabric-based networking customers, far outpacing its primary competitors like Cisco, he said.

“We continue to be very enterprise-centric … but midmarket is a huge, open green field of opportunity,” he said. “We’ve launched new select programs … they’re catching on and growing our market share. It is all greenspace.”


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