Avaya’s Gary Levy: Partners Know We’re Evolving
AVAYA ENGAGE — Avaya partners are on board with the company’s continuing evolution and are anxious to embrace more opportunities with cloud and new technologies.
That’s according to Gary Levy, Avaya’s vice president of Americas channel sales. Avaya’s Engage 2019 conference is underway in Austin, Texas, attracting nearly 2,500 attendees, including partners and customers representing 43 countries.
A year into its 18-month turnaround, Avaya president and CEO Jim Chirico told attendees his company has the right strategy in place, is making the right investments and plans to invest more, including doubling down on investing in cloud research and development.
A year ago, Avaya was fresh out of chapter 11 bankruptcy. Chirico said 2018 was the first chapter of improving his company’s trajectory as a business.
“[Being] the envy of the industry separates us from the pack,” he said. “No one else can deploy a 50,000-seat call center … [and] a 100,000-seat private cloud. Our coverage includes 4,000 people in field … and 4,700 partners — they’re a force multiplier.”
Earlier this month, Avaya unveiled a series of enhancements to its Edge partner program, designed to eliminate complexity and stimulate cloud sales.
In a Q&A with Channel Futures, Levy talks about new opportunities for partners and what he’s hearing from them about the company’s continuing transition.
Channel Futures: What’s the overall message for partners here at Engage?
Gary Levy: I think most importantly is that the partners have seen that we’ve continued to evolve and they’ve seen that year over year, not only in our offers, but mostly in our programs. Our programs have evolved – with the new Edge program – but there’s a huge opportunity for the partners to earn, opportunities around new customers, new contact-center seats as well as cloud. Cloud is so prevalent now for us and our partners. But mostly it’s the message around simplicity for them as we evolve the programs, and that we continue to innovate around their needs, because the partners are who’s driving the feedback from customers to us. That’s why they’re so important to us.
CF: How will the recently announced Edge program enhancements benefit partners? Did partner input come into play when formulating the enhancements?
GL: The feedback from partners certainly guided change around new customers, not necessarily a new customer to Avaya, but a new segment through Avaya. So it would be a solution where a customer may be using Avaya today and one of our adjacent solutions they’re not using, so that offer applies to those adjacent solutions as well, which is important. And then from a services perspective, there was great feedback around how we bring customers and evolve them to cloud. So we had looked at it in one respect last year and the partners really provided some great feedback this year that changed the program, so that the opportunity for them to earn in cloud is unrivaled versus others. There’s a tremendous opportunity for the partners not only from an education perspective, but most importantly …