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Avaya's mission has been to build both channel support programs that make it easier for partners to sell the data networking portfolio as well as more technology and integration features into the products themselves. Avaya's Hase said to expect Avaya to continue with successful promotions and to add extra margin points on certain types of data deals, as well as to emphasize channel offers like Networking Angels, a program through which Avaya provides staff data networking experts to partners that help design infrastructure solutions, provide engineering feedback and close deals.
"In the end, there has to be something to motivate the partner to sell that bundle of technologies," Hase said. Specific to the technology, Avaya recently built in capabilities to both its UC and data products that make things like provisioning and the creation of VLANs that much simpler. Avaya customers that have its IP Office system and IP Phones and also Avaya's ERS 3500 Ethernet switching, for example, can deploy all necessary settings and implement QoS and VLANs using one command, where in a different system it might require tens or hundreds.
Another useful technology Avaya's using is called SLA Monitoring -- a network management tool for converged voice and data networks that, Hase explained, works in the background to measure things like latency, jitter and loss. That technology will be built into its switches as a performance-monitoring tool over the next six months.
In the data center, count on Avaya to play up its Collaboration Pods, which were announced at VMworld in August and tie together Avaya products and virtualized infrastructure frameworks with industry servers, EMC storage and VMware software. It's Avaya's version of the converged infrastructure model most of its data networking competitors, from Cisco and HP to Brocade and Juniper, are pushing. Hase said the Collaboration Pods are in beta trials now and will be orderable by the first quarter of the new year.
Hase said Avaya understands partners will still want to work with other data networking vendors on Avaya UC and contact center deployments, but synching the strategy around one vendor both reduces costs and limits complexity.
"Take HP working with ShoreTel," Hase said. "That's months of legal documents passed back and forth just to get a feature done. Who wants to do that?"