Avaya IP Office To Be Sold Via Amex

The vendor also unveiled a partnership to sell the new IP Office-Small Office Edition system through American Express OPEN, the financial company's collection of tools and services for small-business owners. American Express will provide zero-percent financing through its Business Finance division.

Some solution providers voiced concern that Avaya's partnership with American Express could create channel conflict.


New IP Office-Small Office offers support for both VoIP and traditional calling.

"It sounds like it would be competitive to us," said Kirt Odle, network consultant at Pro Systems, a solution provider in Nashville, Tenn.

Odle also questioned whether systems purchased through American Express would be properly implemented due to the complexity of fine-tuning a network to ensure successful VoIP deployment.

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"If it creates the perception of lower quality because of insufficient installation skills, it could turn out to be a negative [strategy]," Odle said.

Mike Taylor, vice president of emerging technology at solution provider Strategic Products and Services, Cedar Knolls, N.J., said the partnership will likely create some channel conflict but will also give Avaya an opportunity to chase deals that would not be profitable for solution providers.

CDW will provide services for products sold through American Express, said David Spiby, strategy and business planning director for the Small Business Solutions group at Avaya, Basking Ridge, N.J., noting that solution providers are still Avaya's primary route to market for the IP Office line.

The new IP Office-Small Office Edition provides support for both VoIP and traditional calling with integrated messaging and contact center applications. The system also includes a built-in firewall and optional wireless connectivity.

Aimed at offices with between two and 28 users, it rounds out the bottom of the IP Office line and creates new sales opportunities in small and home offices and small branches of larger companies, partners said.

Pricing for IP Office-Small Office Edition, available now, starts at $1,900.