1. Key channel plays for 2015?
Through recurring evaluation of our channel program, we continue to build and develop a high-value partner community by investing in resellers that have, or are in the process of, transitioning to a services-led business model. We want partners that are bridging the gap between IT and communications, and that involves design, implementation, deployment and professional services capabilities to drive long-term customer satisfaction. Our focus is very clearly on the best interests of high-value partners across both the mid-market and enterprise segments.
2. Key technology for 2015?
It’s all about the network. Our product and services portfolio fits into two main areas – customer engagement and team engagement. Underpinning those communications and collaboration technologies is a Fabric Connect architecture that provides a dynamic operating environment without complex protocol overlays. The latest piece in our networking arsenal is SDN Fx, an open software-defined networking architecture that we launched in late February. SDN Fx is about ensuring that Avaya leverages and drives industry standardisation to give customers an interoperable solution, built on fabric networking technology, that works with existing virtualisation, firewalling, and web optimisation technologies.
3. Key message to the channel for 2015?
The key to survival in an increasingly dense industry is either developing (design, implementation, deployment and professional services) capabilities, or partnering with organisations that provide them. It’s the path to becoming more relevant and valued, and ultimately gaining the trusted advisor status.
4. Key warning to the channel for 2015?
The market is still filled with an abundance of traditional resellers clinging to legacy business models – those that provide gear and throw heavy maintenance on top. Those organisations must conquer the fear of change to new commercial models. Leading with a capital expenditure model may be tempting due to the large, instant returns, but X-as-a-Service is a growing reality for customers needing to stretch tightening IT budgets. Traditional resellers must consider how they can redesign their business around XaaS to capture the long-term, incremental revenue streams that are available.
5. Key to their company for 2015?
As industry trends introduce new opportunities and challenges, we are helping our partners evolve their businesses to meet the engagement needs of their enterprise and midmarket customers, just as Avaya has successfully transitioned from telephony and PABX vendor to a mobile- and cloud-enabled communications and networking solutions and services provider.