Avaya To Sell Services Through Distribution


Avaya is in the midst of packaging its professional services offerings to sell through two-tier distribution, said executives Friday at the Catalyst Telecom BusinessPartner Conference 2003 here.

While the communications networking vendor is encouraging solution providers to build their own services capabilities, partners can tap Avaya's professional services arm, Avaya Global Services, to fill in skills gaps as those capabilities are developing, said Todd Meister, vice president of global channel strategy and distribution at Avaya, Basking Ridge, N.J.

"It can be very painful to build out a services business," Meister said. "If you hire ahead of the curve, you could lose a lot of money."

In addition to filling skills gaps, solution providers attending the conference said they also look to resell Avaya's services to extend their geographical reach.

"The end goal is to take care of the customer. If we can take care of them in-house, that's great. If we can't, we'll bring in whatever resources we can," said Scott Kennedy, owner of Kennedy Communications, a solution provider in Lake City, Fla.

Solution providers can already purchase Avaya services for resale directly from Avaya, but buying them through distribution should ease the process, said Farrar Pittman, vice president of sales and marketing at Catalyst Telecom, Greenville, S.C., a unit of specialty distributor ScanSource.

"There can be a little bit of pain when they have to deal directly with Avaya,there are so many steps," Pittman said. "We'll simplify it for them."

Catalyst Telecom is currently negotiating a contract to sell Avaya's services, including integration, installation and maintenance, and hopes to make them available to solution providers in July, Pittman said.