It’s been a long time coming, but the end is in sight for Avaya channel partners who’ve been frustrated by the company’s myriad of tools for pricing and quoting. The company says its long-awaited One Source platform will debut in North America by the first month of 2014.
One Source has been in the works for year now, as the company has promised to streamline the quoting and pricing systems from the legacy “red” (Avaya) side of its business, and those from the legacy “blue” (Nortel) side of its business. Barat Dickman, senior director, of global channel programs, and go-to-market strategy at Avaya, said it’s part of a thrust by new global channel chief Richard Steranka to simplify how the collaboration vendor works with partners.
“We have a real opportunity around ease of doing business and simplification at the transactional level – everything from a prospect showing up in the system to a partner getting cash in the door. That’s been a challenge we know our partners have dealt with,” he said.
That challenge has been amplified by Avaya’s myriad product categories and pricing groupings. At the start of the One Source excercise, the company had some 1,000 different pricing groups for products. With One Source, it gets that down to fewer than 20.
The new tool debuted more than a year ago in Asia, and launched more recently in EMEA. Bringing it to market last in North America, Avaya’s biggest geography, is a double-edged sword. It means that many of its top partners have been stuck on the variety of platforms that the company has offered to date. On the other hand, having been through the rollout of One Source several times around the world, the company should be able to more smoothly launch in Canada and the U.S. Indeed, Dickman said the company has put additional resources in place to support the changeover, a result of some lessons learned along the way.
“No matter how much handholding and change management you anticipate you’ll need when you make a change like this, you always need more,” he said.
That said, he described the changeover – at least internally, as having gone fairly smoothly in the regions where One Source has already debuted. Typically, making the change means some very short-term confusion and extra work, but general “it’s pretty much back to normal” within a week.
Getting One Source up and running globally will allow the vendor to start using its new platform in new ways, Dickman said. While the tool already promises to simplify things for the company’s partners, he suggested that the One Source structure will provide “a platform for further simplification” down the road.
“It’s a foundation we’ll build on,” he said.