Page 1 of 2
Avaya has a good thing going with its year-old Avaya Connect channel program, and at the recent Avaya Americas Partner Conference in Las Vegas, it confirmed several new certifications and other additions to the program that executives say will help them fine-tune the vendor's channel strategy as a collaboration company.
Specifically, Avaya will offer video or data expert designations to partners that can demonstrate advanced abilities in sales or support for those areas. The certifications, Video Expert and Data Expert, join Avaya's existing SME Expert and Service Expert certifications, which are open to Avaya channel partners in the Platinum, Gold and Silver levels.
There's also a new certification called Avaya Certified Solutions Architect (ACSA), offered in both Unified Communications solutions or Contact Center solutions, which is for individual employees achieving top levels of training and competency in UC and CC. Individual employees also can receive Avaya Connect Video Solutions certifications, which are an add-on to their UC credentials.
The new certifications will be made available starting in the first quarter of 2011 and, according to Avaya, reflect a move toward competency from partners instead of volume sales.
"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, during a keynote presentation at the conference.
In his presentation, Butt touted a number of additional improvements to the partner program and explained that Avaya had cut a number of existing partners in the past year, including some 400 of the 600 previously authorized UC partners in the U.S.
"We must evolve together and we must get more selective together," Butt told the assembled crowd.
Among the new offerings is Avaya Connect Partner HelpDesk, available in 10 languages as a resource for partners who have questions about Avaya's channel program, services, marketing and training.