Avaya’s Australian managing director claims Nortel’s legacy channel will smoothly integrate with the networking vendor’s own partner base. The comments come on the back of its combined product roadmap release.
Among technology changes announced globally last week is the development of a new SIP layer, called Avaya Aura, to allow Avaya and Nortel PBXs to interoperate with VoIP gear. Nortel’s Business Communications System Manager will be incorporated into Aura, as will Nortel’s Agile Communications Environment (ACE).
Other product highlights include integrating Nortel’s contact centre software into Avaya’s platform, combining telephony options from both sides under the new IP Office brand, and retaining Norstar and BCM available in the short-term. Nortel’s Software Communications System SIP appliance will also join Avaya’s broad portfolio as well as its wireless, switching and network security gear.
While work is still being done on the technology side, Avaya managing director A/NZ, Rob Wells, was keen to point out the two vendor’s channels had been preparing for some time prior to the acquisition being completed.
“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,” he said. “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.”
According to Wells, former Nortel South Asia channel director, Neville James, will lead the Avaya Connect program with existing staff from both vendors being combined into one team.
“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,” he 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.