Avaya reaches out to channel with managed service offering

Paul Hutchison, vice president of customer advocacy and managing director of professional services at Avaya Canada

Paul Hutchinson, vice president of customer advocacy and managing director of professional services at Avaya Canada

Avaya is reaching out to partners old and new with its entry into the managed services arena, introducing a new outsourcing program for Avaya solutions.

The company has launched what it calls Avaya Communications Outsourcing Solutions (COS), a customizable collection of Avaya-managed communications services, and it’s an offering that the company will look to sell through – and to – its channel partners, said Paul Hutchinson, Avaya Canada services chief.

“It’s a customized offering that can be tailored through our partners, tweaked to the right level of support, complexity and SLA,” Hutchinson said.

The company is offering everything from full outsourced communications solutions, down to Avaya taking on any particular portion of function of a solution that a partner is unwilling or unable to take on themselves, making it attractive to both partners new to outsourced unified communications and those who have well-built practices.

And the company’s partners represent a wide range of capabilities, precisely from brand-new to the idea of managed services, through to having their own sophisticated managed services business.

Hutchinson said the majority of the company’s business for COS will likely come from enterprise and public sector audiences, although there is the potential to scale down into the midmarket. But as the company does the vast majority of its business in Canada through the channel, it will look to partners to lead the charge in those directions. While the company’s focus is firmly on “enhancing business with the partners we already work with,” Hutchinson hinted that after those partners are engaged, there may well be an opportunity to work with solution providers it has not previously done business with, particularly those firmly ensconced in the managed services sphere.

Hutchinson painted a very flexible picture for COS, both in terms of its dealings with customers and those with partners, saying the company will work with partners as resellers, as co-deliverers, and as white-labelers of the full COS stack. It all depends on what solution providers, and their customers, are looking for.

Acceptance of COS in the market is likely to be accelerated by the sheer volume of customers looking to move from “legacy” telephony solutions to new SIP-based solutions, Hutchinson said. That opportunity is particularly prominent here in Canada, where there’s a massive existing base of legacy Nortel equipment in the government and enterprise spaces.

“We have the opportunity to help them in that transformation and in managing it,” Hutchinson said. “We see a lot of customers exploring it now, just starting to make their move – but it’s an opportunity that’s ripe for this kind of transformation.”