Avaya Lures Nortel Partners with Fast-Track Support, Bonuses

Avaya Inc. announced this week a new program to attract resellers from embattled Nortel Networks Corp. to the Avaya Business Partner program. The Competitive Recruitment Program provides financial incentives, marketing assistance and design support to accelerate Avaya product sales made by Nortel partners signed with Avaya from Oct. 1, 2008, through July 31, 2009.

Nortel filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January, leaving the fate of its enterprise business and its partners in question.

“Our goal is to offer these Nortel partners a compelling reason to invest in learning Avaya technology and the selling of Avaya solutions to their Nortel customer base and other prospects,” according to Deb Kline, a spokesperson for Avaya. “The result should be new sales for Avaya, while generating increased commitment and competency for these newly-recruited partners.”

Nortel channel partners will be fast-tracked with training, sales, marketing and services support during the period when they normally would be training and ramping up, Kline said. Specifically, she explained, they will have access to Avaya’s Design Team to help them get up to speed and to provide added support in early sales efforts. Avaya will provide in-depth, detailed consultative support on configuration strategy, complex application integration and complex enterprise design through Avaya’s Sales Factory, the Design Central Team.

“This supplemental support from Avaya is provided specifically to help new partners ramp up quickly, and is intended to supplement – not replace – the valuable support services that are available through Avaya’s Distributors,” Kline added.

In addition to sales support, Nortel recruits also will receive bonus incentives for every new Avaya customer and product order. Specifically, qualifying partners will have the opportunity to earn three additional points on all “net new” product sales, meaning first-time sales to customers who have not purchased Avaya equipment before. In addition, they can get two points in business development funds based on Avaya products they resell throughout the eligibility period. These funds are deposited quarterly in a Joint Marketing Fund for use by the partner.

Globally, 59 former Nortel channel partners have joined the Avaya Business Partner program since the beginning of the year. The Avaya Business Partner program currently includes more than 16,000 companies worldwide; 51 percent of those are in North America.

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