Unisys, Touchbase lose Platinum Avaya status

Unisys, Touchbase lose Platinum Avaya status

Avaya partners Unisys and Touchbase have lost their premium partner status after only 12 months as Platinum partners.

In October last year, the voice and data vendor named Unisys and UK-based systems integrator Touchbase as its top partners as part of its move to a 100 per cent channel model in the South Pacific region. About 40 Avaya staff were transferred to the two companies as part of the strategy.

Twelve months later, Touchbase has been downgraded to Gold level, while Unisys has moved off the radar altogether. The latter is now considered a global integrator, and as such will source products through distributors Ingram Micro and IPL Communications.

The changes come after a re-organisation of Avaya's channel program, which has seen increased emphasis on accreditation. The restructure has also raised the bar for business commitment for Platinum partners, which is now believed to be in excess of $22 million a year.

Avaya managing director Carlton Taya said the restructure represents the "evolution" of Avaya's channel strategy. "Avaya's been a very strong voice company but as we move into the area of convergence there are a variety of integration requirements," he said. "We've had to look at a model that embraces what our partners can bring to the table.

"As the channel model evolves, we are starting to identify the skills and capabilities of our partners."

Unisys will concentrate on the application side of the equation, passing much of the integration work on to Silver Avaya partner Sirocco Communications.

"As you look at the shift from hardware to software, the value of the transaction is much lower," Taya said.

Unisys marketing director Alan Smith played down the changes, describing the restructure as "a positive move". "The reseller relationship with Avaya has been realigned to our existing global systems relationship, which we have had for well over a year," he said.

The changes also mean that Gold partner NSC will have to wait a little longer to achieve the coveted Platinum status. However, with two of Avaya's biggest implementations in Australia under his belt, NSC managing director Craig Neil is confident he will reach the goal by the next quarter.

"We will hit Platinum by March next year," he told ARN. "We've been targeting new business and it has been paying off because Avaya's got some excellent products."

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