Avaya fleshes in details of channel program changes

Avaya’s program changes give more partners ways to make more money, but also step up the requirement to have happy, satisfied customers.

Rob Auld

Rob Auld, Channel Leader for Avaya Canada

A month ago, at its Avaya Executive Forum for partners in San Diego, Avaya repeatedly pledged to partners that it would be a better partner going forward than had been the case in the past. It also said that they were changing their channel programs to become more partner-friendly. Now, they have added some more details about what those changes will be.

“Partners wanted to hear that Avaya is committed to being a better partner, and how marketing will drive leads,” said Rob Auld, Channel Leader for Avaya Canada. “They also want to hear details about changes to the programs.”

The old Grow Right program, which was initially inaugurated to make the transition from volume to value based selling, is being replaced. One of the successor programs is Growth Bets, which is designed to be better segmented, to reward partners to investing in Avaya.

“We will use the funds to effectively target five strategic growth areas – Midmarket, Contact Centre, Fabric Networking, Modernizing the Customer Base and Cloud,” Auld said. “There will be some changes to how the program works compared to Grow Right. For instance, it doesn’t have to be all back end loaded now. The important thing though is that this program will be very highly targeted.”

The second program coming out of the old Grow Right one is Percentage Growth. This has two components. Partners who grow revenue five per cent year over year, while doing eight million in business in a year, will get a three per cent back end rebate. In addition, partners who show 40 per cent growth in a category while doing a million dollars in revenue will also get a three per cent rebate. All of these numbers are specific to Canada.

“More growth equals more money, and more back end rebates the partner will qualify for,” Auld said.

One key programmatic change, that Auld said is particularly important in the Canadian market, is the reduction in the size of deals necessary to qualify for deal registration.

“For midmarket partners specifically, moving from $50,000 to $10,000 is a very big deal,” he said. “It will absolutely protect our partners.”

Avaya is also making changes to its Co-Delivery Partner program to place even more emphasis on Avaya partners being able to satisfy customers. Starting in FY17, partners will be measured against industry leading key performance indicators and metrics. This of course is not new. Avaya introduced the weighting of customer satisfaction KPIs several years ago. It is, however, now being intensified.

“We are just evolving it to the next step,” Auld said. “We are bringing in more rigorous requirements for solution specialists. We want to make sure as with everything in Avaya that our customers will come first, and want our customers to say great things about us and our partners.”

In the event that a partner doesn’t measure up to the new standards, Auld suggested that while there could be consequences, Avaya isn’t setting a bar where if a partner fails, their affiliation would be in jeopardy.

“We will deal with it on a case by case basis if a partner is going completely offside,” he said. “Drawing a red line right now would be premature.”

Auld stressed that the objective of the changes as a whole is to make partners more profitable.

“The bottom line is that we want our partners to grow,” he said. “When they grow, we grow.”