Networking vendor, Avaya, is introducing a range of consulting, integration and management services to the Australian market.
Primarily targeting large enterprise customers with multiple locations, some elements will be offered through channel partners but top-end services will be delivered direct.
In order to prepare partners to deliver the network consulting part of Avaya Global Services, the vendor is launching a Partner Empowerment Program.
“We are moving customers to digital but nobody is prepared to rip and replace so we need to make new solutions work on older equipment,” Avaya regional director of network consulting services, Peter Thorne, said.
“We need to help customers that are moving to IP telephony understand what VoIP is all about and evaluation is a very important part of that process. The Empowerment Program has been designed to help our business partners through the paradigm shift.”
Thorne said Avaya would be asking customers to complete surveys and would then use software tools it had developed to assess how ready existing equipment is for IP telephony.
Partners are to be offered three levels of training — this would initially mean identifying opportunities for Avaya to deliver; then getting engineers trained and reviewing reports in conjunction with the vendor before presenting to customers; and, finally, being allowed to deliver services on their own.
While Thorne said he would like most partners to complete the first phase of the training, only a select few were to be taken through the entire program.
He estimated it would take six months for a partner to complete the full process.
Thorne said two Avaya partners had already started the training program but he refused to identify them.
Avaya general manager of services for South Pacific, Michael Clarkson, said Avaya would only be going direct where it was a specific customer requirement, usually with multinational companies that had an existing relationship with the vendor.
He said Avaya Global Services had been launched in the US about 12 months ago in response to increasingly complex multi-vendor environments.
“Customers want a single point of contact for billing, support and management while retaining the bits of equipment they like from different vendors,” he said. “The single vendor policy is just about dead in this industry and managed services have become the only way to do it.”