Avaya Pledge Profit Share with Channel

FRESH from their World Cup success, Avaya took their EMEA business partners to Rome last week, home to the FIFA World Cup Trophy for the next 4 years.

Four hundred of Avaya’s top business partners congregated in the ‘Eternal city’ to meet with and hear from Avaya’s senior management team about the Basking Ridge company’s’ strategy for success in the fast changing global communications market.

Lou D’Ambrosio, newly appointed CEO, spelt out his vision for success: “Extend the value of the core IP telephony platforms; expand (the company’s) global contact centre market leadership into the enterprise; build out on their Unified Communications leadership position; lead in Communications Enabled Business Platforms; expand into adjacent markets and leverage Solutions sales”.

He then went on to reveal his top corporate cultural principles: “Apply unwavering integrity in all you do; put the customer first at all times; act with urgency and speed; encourage debate but accept decisions; don’t just diagnose problems, resolve them; finish the job – activity is fine, but it is results that count and, last but not least, eradicate self-inflicted complexity”. He had a welcome message for the channel, too: “unlike certain of our competitors, we don’t want to make 65% margin and keep it all for ourselves. That sort of margin only comes from two places: the customer and the channel. We want our business partners to share in the profit, too, because you are an integral part of our business strategy.”

D’Ambrosio also shared some interesting statistics with the audience. He said that there are some 425 million PABX lines installed around the world. Of those, only 50 million are IP. This means that there are 375 million lines still to migrate. He suggested that the first 50 million lines moved to IP mainly to save money. The rest, he thinks, will move to IP because of the business process improvements that may be made by running a totally unified computing and communications system.

Carlos Sartorius, Avaya’s Guildford-based President for EMEA, announced his management team for the coming years. Buddy Ceronie will continue to look after the UK and Irish operation and Pat Hume, the recently appointed EMEA Channel Management VP was introduced to her eager constituents.

Hume enthused about the channel throughout the event and here are some of the key sound bites she made at the conference:

“I will be the channel partners representative within Avaya.” “We wish you to become an ‘intimate part’ of the Avaya family.” “We will treat you with the respect you deserve.” “The provision of high quality business partner training, both sales and technical, will be one of my top priorities.” “We will be recruiting more channel partners, but not in vast quantities. They will be the right channels for the right markets with the right skills to help Avaya grow, which in turn will help our existing channel partners.”

”Excluding Germany, where we are still transitioning the Tenovis business from a direct sales model, we did 60% of our business in EMEA through the channel. I want to see that percentage increase year on year.” “We will earn the right to be entrusted with a greater share of your business, if you work with more than one vendor.”

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