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Many of the Avaya partners I've spoken to are encouraged by this idea of becoming more strategic by selling more of the portfolio. Obviously, some partners are better equipped to do that than others, but will they need to make that leap to be considered strategic with Avaya? Is that inevitable?
Let me leave the word "strategic" as your word, and I'll refine your question in a way that I think I know how to answer it. Whether you're an account manager with Avaya or a partner with Avaya, you will make the most money and you will be the most likely to succeed if you sell an increasing amount of the portfolio. We know statistically that those partners selling more product in the portfolio and those account managers selling more of the portfolio are the people that make the most money -- we saw that his year in the numbers.
I do believe that transition is important, and patterns will mobilize toward that end. Some [partners] will consolidate amongst themselves so they have a greater ability to follow that pattern. Partners will decide what's right for each other. But the data exists that says that you will make more money if you sell more of the stack.
You mentioned consolidation, and we do see some of the big Avaya partners getting bigger, with acquirers like Carousel Industries and SPS being good examples. Do you expect this M&A we see in your channel to continue?
Sure I do. You met with Tom Mitchell [Avaya senior vice president and president, Go to Market] earlier, and he and I were there to look through the end of the mainframe era and the advancement of the networking era. At that time, the way partners joined the rolodex of the networking channels was doing so because there was no more money to be had in that computing world. That same thing is happening now in the move from the voice to the collaboration world. There are fewer companies that have [voice] products, and it's the end of an era around product sales although there is still maintenance, but there are new products around collaboration, around things like session border control, and many new companies. That transition is going to encourage consolidation, so that we can survive and evolve. That's what we're seeing. I expect it will continue for a number of years.
Among the VAR partners, you mean?
I don't think anyone's going to be immune from it. We have an industry in transition. If the suppliers consolidate, ultimately the channels will go through some consolidation. They have to.
Turning to tech trends, session border control is often seen as a hot technology growing on the back of SIP adoption. What other technologies are like that? Partners looking at SBCs see Avaya acquiring a company like Sipera as an indication that that's somewhere to look, so what else is adjacent to this interest in SIP?
Speech analytics and contact centers are going to go through a vibrant period. During the recession, the consumer industry shrank, agents were let go, and call center technologies began to sweat their assets. As the consumer industry has come back, the technology is more vibrant, and more people will communicate with social, mobile, web and video, so you're going to see a vibrancy around the call center market. Speech analytics will be one example of that, and that's one reason that drove our acquisition of Aurix. Video, whether it's codecs for suppliers, there are going to be many aspects of video and many applications around video, video streaming and so forth. You can bundle services around them.
Talk about about that vibrancy specific to contact center. How do you maintain Avaya's lead against competitors like Cisco and Genesys?
Well, one advantage of being the market leader is you tend to interact with more customers on good and bad things on any day of the week, so we are listening to them and responding to requests, and in theory, building a book shelf of relevance to them. One thing is to be paranoid and focused, and the other is to focus on the next architecture. Our AACC [Avaya Aura Contact Center] is being quickly adopted, so that's good. We have new routing mechanisms out there, too, so it's just a vibrant roadmap. We're listening to customers first, and trying to plot where they need to go next.
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