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One of Avaya's major channel priorities heading into 2011 is changing its program rewards to reflect partner competencies versus volume sales. It's something Avaya partners see as a welcome change of pace, although one with plenty of caveats -- including Avaya's suggestion that it will emphasize customer satisfaction data to determine compensation.
It was a hot topic at Avaya's recent Americas Partner Conference in Las Vegas, and one that may come to define Avaya's go-to-market strategy for channels.
"This is the third year in a row I've said competency drives volume, volume doesn't drive competency," said Jeremy Butt, vice president, worldwide channels, who told partners attending the conference that "the competency side" would be Avaya's focus for its channel program over the next few years.
That's all well and good, say partners, so long as it's handled correctly. At the very least, it gives regional or smaller Avaya partners without major national sales operations the opportunity to access more lucrative deals -- and showcase their talents.
"I'm not as concerned about whether a partner is regional or national as about whether he is qualified to make the sale," said John Babcock, president of Relational Technology Solutions, a Columbus, Ohio-based solution provider.