All Mapped Out

All Mapped Out

Pat Hume

Hume’s appointment as VP for EMEA channels was as a result of Avaya’s decision last year to bring their SMB operation, then ostensibly almost a separate company, into the main fold of the organisation as they considered it would be better served by the move. At the time Hume was responsible for SMB on a global basis – a role she still overseas as market segment leader for the US-based PBX vendor.

“My new task was to use my past experiences and come to EMEA to drive sales from the indirect channel – an exciting opportunity as I believe our growth will come through our ability to manage the channel well, both our traditional channel and emerging channels such as BT and Dimension Data.

“I found an opportunity to think about the channel differently but the existing infrastructure was not optimally organised to be the best in the market. We can improve and as channel champion I take it personally and made a personal commitment to make our channel better. To me this is not a job but a passion.”

 

“So far I have been working on our channel organisation and have taken my plans to Charles Ill, Avaya’s SVP for Global Sales for approval. My plan calls for a solid structure with roles and responsibilities defined – it is a starting point from which to make improvements and I expect to make channel personnel and structure announcements from the beginning of February.

“Our business partners have made clear to me the issues they face in doing business with Avaya; channel management is their key concern and we need to offer services and value to our partners.”

In determining her channel requirements Hume has taken a long look at her market.

“Analysing customer buying behaviour reveals that users buy from a wide range of sources; VARs, SPs, Sis and the web. Presently in EMEA Avaya has 194 tier one resellers, 58 distributors, 1007 business partners and 12 strategic alliances. By mapping this channel and their capacity to sell our products we can identify the white space – areas where coverage is required.

“However, in determining how we can fill that space we first take a look at our existing partners and their profiles, for example, are they getting in to convergence. We will then put in place a joint business plan with them to grow their sales of Avaya products and incentivise the partner to achieve that growth. My first order of business is to close any gaps via our existing channels. Only then do we set out to recruit new partners in accordance with the channel mapping.

“Once we sign a new partner we will then carry out a process we call ‘onboarding’ which facilitates the partner’s ability to buy and sell our products. From there we train and certify the partner.

“All of this is channel management and forms the building blocks we can use to build sales. In EMEA this process was not consistent across the countries – we needed a central structure which once in place would deliver excellence. We are to start with the ‘pinch points’ and partner training is a priority as is business planning and profiling.

“On top of the channel management building blocks we need to see what it is that each of the partner types, VAR, SP, SI etc., need in order to be optimally successful and build an Avaya value proposition for each.

“I want to have the best partner web site in the world – a place where partners feel at home and recognise that we understand their business.

“This Avaya strategy is perfectly aligned to convergence – the voice resellers know that they need to evolve their business and we have to map out the route to market for each of our products appropriately.”

Hume concluded by saying that her new plan will present many new challenges for existing Avaya staff and that she expects there to be a new diversity of talents in the team.

 

Editor Comment

As well as the channel being a passion, Hume is also on a mission. It’s likely she did not like what she saw when she arrived in EMEA and is clearly keen to impose her own structure and ideas on the territory. Given that Avaya seems to be on a worldwide crusade to cut costs just now I fear for many of their channel incumbents in the forthcoming Hume shake up.

 

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