Key program changes include: simplification in requirements, how the programs work and how they are explained/documented; a shift to a calendar year to better align with its partners’ business; fewer requirements to earn benefits; and more rebate dollars for selling net new Avaya unified-communications or contact-center offerings.
Carl Knerr, Avaya‘s global director of channel strategy and programs, tells Channel Partners the enhancements were prompted by feedback from the company’s partner community on how to make the programs more effective and meaningful to their businesses.
“We gathered this partner feedback via online surveys, meeting with our partners in person, remote, one-on-one and in groups to hear what was working well for them and what areas could be improved to better align with their businesses,” he said.
Complexity has been the biggest barrier for Avaya and its partners, Knerr said.
“If our partners cannot easily link an action to a payout, the program is not effective,” he said. “We not only simplified the programs, but also how we trained our partners on them, to make this cause-and-effect relationship as clear as possible. In one program, we simplified from 126 possible commissions to nine — not only making the commissions more predictable, but also removing a painful retroactive performance evaluation that included a manual appeals process. Less work for everyone involved means more time spent growing our mutual business.”
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The enhancements will expand the Avaya channel partner community across multiple business types, including enterprise VARs, midmarket and SMBs, SIs and more, the company said.
Between 2017 and 2018, the number of partners eligible for rebates increased by 281 percent, and there was a 159 percent increase in the number of partners with more than 10 percent growth. The company said its 2019 strategy will build on these results.
“Avaya Edge is a comprehensive program for channel partners that now benefits from further improvements for 2019,” said Tim Banting, principal analyst at GlobalData. “Some vendor programs leave channels confused with complex structures and incentive programs which can lead to misaligned sales behavior and issues in partner profitability. Avaya has constructed a comprehensive program that simplifies, integrates and aligns with channel partner needs to help drive growth and introduce additional business opportunities.”