The technology, Babcock noted, is "only going to get more complex." If volume is the only major requirement for channel rewards, the process becomes prohibitive to smaller solution providers, especially those who have invested in Avaya training and certification but can't by nature move the same volume of products as VARs four times their size.
"The smaller guys never get a shot," he explained. "Avaya needs better-quality partners."
"If Avaya approaches this new model correctly, the compensation model will ferret out who are the most competent," said Roger Junkermier, president of Cerium Networks, a Spokane, Wash.-based solution provider.
Junkermier was among VARs who cautioned Avaya against using customer satisfaction metrics to determine performance-based compensation for partners. So was Val Robison, who noted that when customers have issues with vendors, it's often the VARs that bear the brunt of their frustrations.
"The customer could love us but be upset at the vendor, so they take it out on us when they get that customer sat survey. Or the customer is having a bad day," said Robison, sales vice president at Sunturn IT Consulting Group, a Phoenix-based solution provider. "Tying our ability to customer sat scores makes things difficult."
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