Avaya and Nortel’s newly merged channels are fundamentally similar and will smoothly integrate, according to Avaya managing director A/NZ, Rob Wells, said.
Earlier, in a global announcement, Avaya outlined its product roadmap and plan for a smooth transition period.
Wells said the two vendor’s channels had been preparing for some time prior to the acquisition being completed.
“Work on that was initiated by both sides of the channel community before the acquisition completed,” he said. “Most of our significant partners, such as NSC, started conversations with either company to build the capability, skills and relationships and got a headstart on that.
“The next stage is we’re having an Asia-Pacific partner conference in Beijing where we’re pulling about 600 people from our key partners with about 50 from Australia to connect into the company and where we’re going.”
Wells said former Nortel South Asia channel director, Neville James, had been picked to lead the Avaya Connect program with existing staff from both vendors being combined into one team.
He said the key to bringing the two partner networks together was a smooth flow of information, training and continuing skills certification training.
“Initially, we will continue to support the Nortel [channel] models. Avaya has done a lot of work in the last 12 months to bring together a new channel model called Avaya Connect, which is launching in February,” Wells said.
“[The Nortel channel model] will be a subset of the Avaya Connect model with a drive to getting consistency across the two programs by the end of 2010… [Nortel partners] will be fully-fledged and signed to the Avaya program by the end of the financial year.”
Wells all but ruled out a major drive for more partners and said the key to channel growth would be to help execute their expansion plans.
“Our focus today is to ensure we support the expansion of our existing partners… most important right now is bringing our new partners in, making sure they’re happy and that they’re enabled to be successful,” he said.