Avaya Talks Up Networking, Midmarket Opportunities In Partner Road Show

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DJJ Technologies' Dolan said his company used to rely more heavily on Avaya competitors like Juniper Networks and Extreme Networks to fill out its data networking portfolio, but after Avaya's acquisition of Nortel, he looked more to Avaya to play that part.

"I didn't [sell Avaya networking] right away because I wasn't real comfortable with how it was going to work out, but ... it's been a couple of years, and Avaya seems to be putting a lot of resources behind the networking products, so we jumped on board," Dolan said. "We are reaping the benefits now of that acquisition."

Ian Pugh, vice president of sales at GSolutionz, a Ventura, Calif.-based solution provider, said his company has benefited more from Avaya's June 2012 acquisition of video conferencing specialist Radvision.

"Having an Avaya [video] product that rounds out the full UC stack is phenomenal," said Pugh, who attended the Avaya Partner Connection Day in Los Angeles. "It allows us to compete with Microsoft now, where before it was more [like] 'cross your fingers and hope that you win.'"

In addition to data and video, Avaya's Soderlund said the midmarket was another theme running throughout the company's four-city road show. Specifically, Soderlund said Avaya emphasized the traction its IP Office UC solution is seeing within small and midsized companies. Avaya's latest version of IP Office, Soderlund said, touts new features that were specifically requested by partners, including the ability to scale to up 1,000 users.

"We basically rebuilt the technology from the ground-up, with the feedback from our partner and customer community as to what they were looking for," Soderlund said.

Soderlund said the reception to IP Office to-date has been "phenomenal," with more than 500 partners selling it and more than 10 million end users leveraging it.

Jeff Gardner, CEO of Carousel Industries, an Exeter, R.I.-based solution provider, said IP Office and the midmarket, in general, has become a sweet spot within his Avaya business.

"Midmarket is a huge focus for us," Gardner told CRN at the Avaya partner event in Boston. "We were a large enterprise partner for [Avaya], but last year we experimented and created a dedicated midmarket team and that has had tremendous success with 100 percent growth year-over-year."

Looking ahead, Soderlund said Avaya hopes to extend the Avaya partner road show to eight cities or more, calling the first round of shows a "wild success." Most partners, it seems, would agree.

"I would just say that there has never been a time when I felt like Avaya has been more aligned with the partner community and has helped us push ourselves forward," said GSolutionz's Pugh.

PUBLISHED 26, 2013

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