Avaya Streamlines Partner Program With Expanded Rewards

**Editor’s Note: Click here for a list of recent important channel-program changes you should know.**

Avaya on Tuesday unveiled a new partner program with expanded rewards, streamlined requirements and alignment to digital business needs.

Avaya's Matt BiondiAvaya Edge aims to help partners make money and ensure they have the “expertise required to provide the transformative solutions customers need in the digital marketplace,” according to the company. The new program is now in effect, and existing authorized partners are evaluated under both the previous and new programs, and awarded at the higher level for the first six months.

Steve Biondi, Avaya’s vice president and global channel chief, tells Channel Partners that partner feedback played a key role in the new program’s formulation.

“The draft plan was developed based on extensive feedback from the partners about what was then the current program, and their needs and expectations,” he said. “We also have a Partner Council that actively participates in reviewing and discussing program elements and changes, especially for something as critical as a new partner program.”

Streamlined requirements and new gem designation levels – Diamond, Sapphire and Emerald – reduce the complexity and resources needed for partners to manage the program, Avaya said. For example, the program reduces the amount of time partners previously required to complete credentials by up to 50 percent, and partner co-delivery performance metrics have been reduced 56 percent.{ad}

In addition, partners now are compensated for a broader scope of revenue, including both hardware/product sales, and recurring services and software. Also, new incentives reward partners for strategic areas of achievement, such as customer value, growth and new product adoption.

The introduction of five partner tracks aligns with their go-to-market model, and maps partner revenue targets and rewards based on track and geographic region.

“The strength of a channel program is the degree to which it enables the success of its partners, recognizes and applauds their unique capabilities as they apply them to serve our customers,” Biondi said. “This means the program needs the flexibility within a supportive structure that reduces requirements to only those that are most essential. I believe the new Avaya Edge program accomplishes this and enables our channel partners to capture share through the transition of the market and Avaya.”

“The communications industry has moved towards a software-based approach and away from bespoke PBXs,” said Tim Banting, principal analyst of collaboration and communications for Current Analysis. “Vendors that utilize channels as a primary route to market need to focus on helping their partners to reinvent themselves to meet their customers’ needs. Avaya’s new Edge program is an example of a vendor that is re-orienting its partners by monitoring how the industry is transforming, responding to customer feedback, and evolving their programs accordingly. Consequently, this approach enhances Avaya’s partners’ ability to compete and differentiate in the marketplace.”

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