Avaya Offers Private Label Managed Services To VARs

The offering, titled Avaya Partner-Enabled Managed Services, was unveiled Wednesday at the 2010 Americas Partner Conference in Nashville, Tenn., alongside Avaya's revamped global partner program, Avaya Connect, and other updates.

Avaya's services portfolio -- which encompasses Operations Services, plus Avaya's Global Support Services and Professional Services branches -- will be crucial to determining its strength going forward. Avaya President and CEO Kevin Kennedy confirmed Wednesday, for example, that services now account for more than 50 percent of Avaya's overall gross margin.

The managed services move marks a significant shift in how Avaya views the channel as crucial to services sales going forward.

"Thirty five percent of all infrastructure is in the managed [model] today, and according to analysts, that'll more than double over the next few years," said Chris Formant, senior vice president and president of Avaya Global Services, in a Wednesday keynote to attendees. "We want to deliver a very competitive, differentiated managed services offer that's completely partner-enabled. We are not in the direct managed services business any longer. We are not offering it, we are not promoting it, we're essentially out of that business. It's pure partner-enabled."

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Avaya Partner-Enabled Managed Services gives channel partners the option to private label Avaya infrastructure monitoring and management plans and tack on their own value-added services to those plans.

Avaya also is giving systems integrator and service provider partners the option to integrate Avaya managed services into their existing network operations.

Partner-Enabled Managed Services breaks down into three levels. The Monitor level includes service desks, notification and basic monitoring services. The Operate level includes all Monitor-level services plus technology configurations, incident and service management and some maintenance services. The highest level, Optimize, contains everything in the Monitor and Operate plans and adds system administration, availability and capacity management services, and tailored consulting from Avaya.

In addition to the managed services update, Formant also said Avaya would continue to position its global services suite as an "antidote to Cisco."

"We're more feature-rich and priced considerably lower than [Cisco's] Smartnet and ESW," he said. "We also offer health check reports, firmware updates, proactive case status alert -- Cisco doesn't do any of that."

On the professional services side, Formant added that Avaya would look to expand its vertical expertise -- especially in government, life sciences, retail and hospitality -- and that the acquisition of Nortel's enterprise business would "dramatically deepen" Avaya's services reach in areas such as life-cycle management and health care.