As virtualization, driven by Internet video, storage over Ethernet and green IT, proves useful to large enterprises and other organizations, some communications-equipment makers are gearing up for greater adoption. Avaya Inc. is one of them and this week gave Westcon Group, one of its key partners, global distribution rights to the Avaya Virtual Services Platform 9000, an Ethernet switch with 27tbps gross capacity.
Resellers may position the product to help end-users move from the data center to a virtualized cloud, said Lynn Smurthwaite Murphy, senior vice president of the U.S. and Canada for Westcon Group. Further, Avaya is targeting a key demographic – companies with multivendor networks. Recent research from Gartner Inc. found that total cost of ownership for multivendor networks tends to be lower than single-vendor platforms. “So Avaya plays into this role that Gartner is suggesting is more cost-effective," said Smurthwaite Murphy.
Ideal prospects for the VSP 9000 run the gamut. For its part, Avaya says it developed the VSP 9000 for organizations that need 10-Gigabit Ethernet now and expect to need 40- and 100-Gigabit Ethernet down the road. The VSP 9000 also takes aim at entities experiencing poor application response; firms that need to simplify network infrastructure operations; and organizations that need to deliver virtual services in a cloud computing setup. The financial sector and organizations trying to save money on energy can make good use of the VSP 9000, said Smurthwaite Murphy.
However, she added, the wide range of potential clients doesn’t mean virtual data center sales fit every partner.
“If a company wants to get into a data center type of sale, they’ll want to do some real investigation," Smurthwaite Murphy explained. “They need to be all-in, if you will. A lot of our partners who sell voice sell data as well. For a partner that’s looking to change their business strategy, this is one good place they can consider investing."
Partners that are ready to push their business models to the next level can take advantage of Westcon’s LEAP program. LEAP – which stands for Learn, Experience, Architect and Plan – gives resellers a chance at hands-on learning, technology demonstrations and customer briefings. Among other skills, the accelerated training teaches partners how to construct a return-on-investment model for CIOs and CFOs; resellers earn certification that shows they understand how to help customers strategize for technological growth.
Meantime, in terms of margins, Westcon wouldn’t say what ranges partners can expect to earn on sales of the VSP 9000. But, Smurthwaite Murphy said, for “resellers that are able to … solve business challenges, margin is richer than just competing on hardware alone."
The VSP 9000 is part of Avaya’s Virtual Enterprise Network Architecture portfolio. The platform is based on protocols Nortel Networks developed and that Avaya now owns as a result of the 2009 asset-takeover.