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Avaya steers channel towards cloud and SaaS

Partner programme tweaked to encourage more subscription, SaaS and cloud sales alongside new launches

Avaya has stepped up its efforts to steer partners towards a subscription, software-as-a-service (SaaS) and cloud sales model.

While previewing several new cloud and SaaS offerings this week at its user conference, Avaya Engage, the vendor said it had recently increased partner incentives to encourage more subscription and services business.

“We’ve made those changes to focus more on the company’s strategic imperatives for the enterprise customer – the migration to SaaS or subscription,” said Jon Brinton, Avaya’s vice-president of North America channel sales, who also oversees the global Avaya Edge partner programme.

Brinton, formerly president of Mitel’s Cloud Division, joined Avaya in December 2019 with a mandate to “transform the company as the partner of choice for communications solutions…with an emphasis on cloud and new subscription models”.

Speaking to MicroScope, Brinton confirmed that Avaya was gearing its partner engagement around customer preference for cloud, and customer service becoming “multi-experience” – “incentivising our channel to work with our customers to help them as they develop their buyers’ journey for the modern consumer”.

He added: “We have positioned the programme a little bit more away from a traditional capital expenditure, equipment purchasing model, to the way that customers choose to consume a product today.”

Avaya has previously had to defend itself from claims by competitors that it lacked any cloud offerings, and used the Avaya Engage event to showcase its latest products. Its big announcement was a new unified-communications-as-a-service (UCaaS) offering in partnership with RingCentral, pencilled in to launch in the US at the end of March, and in the UK in June.

Targeted at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), Avaya Cloud Office will combine RingCentral’s UCaaS platform with Avaya phones.

The company also said that its enterprise private cloud offering, ReadyNow, which it rolled out last year, was now the fastest-growing part of its business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

Elsewhere, Avaya highlighted its investment in a new contact-centre-as-a-service (CcaaS) platform, Avaya IX-CC, which it described as being “built from the ground up as a cloud-based solution developed on a microservices architecture”.

Avaya also pointed to a new communications-platform-as-a-service (CPaaS) offering, which it said enables customers “to build apps with ease and integrate them into any application, workflow or communications system”.

EMEA and Asia Pacific (APAC) combined account for 37% of Avaya’s business, with the company attributing about 80% of its sales to the channel in EMEA.

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