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Channel key to driving Avaya’s UCaaS offering

Comms player cuts the ribbon on its unified comms-as-a-service product with the channel front and centre of its plans

Avaya is banging the drum around its shift to become a software and services company and has cut the ribbon on its latest unified communications-as-a-service (UCaaS) offering.

The vendor has been readying the channel for the arrival of its UCaaS Cloud Office over the last few weeks as it builds on the launch of its collaboration offering Spaces a few months ago.

Recent earnings indicate the progress the firm has made, with software and services now accounting for 88% of its $682m revenues, and cloud and subscription revenues also increasing.

Steve Joyner, managing director UK&I at Avaya, said those numbers indicated that it had made strides in transforming the business.

“All of these are key indicators that we are where we need to be as a software and services company and Avaya Cloud Office by RingCentral is the perfect accelerator for the next motion,” he said.

Avaya announced a partnership with RingCentral late last year and has been working on the project since then to get it ready to take out to customers via the channel. The product has already been released in the US and there has been some initial success for partners.

“It is a great opportunity for our channels and our agents,” said Joyner, “not only our existing channels and partners that we have had for many years, but also the new agents we will be acquiring.”

Avaya already has three master agents signed to get behind the launch, serving an agent network about 170 strong.

“We have seen those added to daily and that is rapidly improving,” he said. “The economics of this offer are very compelling as well. This is an absolute key core component of our portfolio, especially in the UK.”

Joyner said he personally would be getting behind the launch to make sure it was a success in the UK. “Through our account teams, I will be personally driving this very hard to make sure we get out and show the virtues and values of Avaya Cloud Office by RingCentral,” he said.

Rudo Tielrooij, director of cloud sales, international at Avaya, said the company was keen to get partners involved with the product as they were the ones with the customer relationship.

“We really want to work with our existing partners on the Avaya Cloud Office solution because they are the ones who actually know the customer and are working with them on a daily basis and know their environments,” he said. “They have very valuable input in transitioning these customers to the cloud.”

Avaya has set up a certification programme so that partners can flag to users that they have the skills in UCaaS, and resellers are being trained now so they can handle the implementation and the billing aspects.

“We are working very closely with our partners to make sure they are valued and rewarded and they are an essential part of this solution,” said Tielrooij.

Read more on Unified Communications (UC) Services