Avaya: It’s All About the Midmarket
When it seems as though every other vendor is trying to move either upstream or downstream, Avaya is pushing its channel partners to focus on the middle.
At its annual Americas Executive Partner Forum Nov. 14-16 in Cancun, Mexico, the unified communications and collaboration vendor is pushing a midmarket agenda to its partners, emphasizing an opportunity the company is seeing major growth in but one that Avaya executives believe could be larger for its partners.
“Six months ago we didn’t have a solid midmarket enablement strategy. We do now,” said Tom Mitchell, senior vice president and president, Avaya Go-To-Market. “The midmarket offers higher growth opportunity with fast time to cash. Partners, you need to change your business to fit market demands.”
A large part of the midmarket enablement is the latest version of IP Office, version 8.1, which now scales from five to 1,000 users and can network up to 32 locations. Mitchell noted it covers a market in which Avaya traditionally hasn’t had a competitive offering — IP Office was designed for the SMB space while Aura, its enterprise communication platform, was aimed at — you guessed it — the enterprise.
“I think we did a poor job on the transition,” Mitchell said in discussing the shift to downstream. We’ve had so much energy around Avaya Communications Manager and Aura, but that technology doesn’t necessarily go downmarket.”
Rather, the push to take IP Office to a larger user base has opened new opportunities for Avaya and its channel partners.
“The midmarket is one of the areas where it’s easier to acquire new customers,” said Mark Monday, Avaya’s vice president of Collaboration Platforms. “It’s challenging to win new business for 10,000 users — few are willing to trade out for something else. But a 300-to-800-user customer is an easier decision.”
With the midmarket offering, Avaya is pushing its enterprise-focused channel partners to move downstream and its SMB-focused channel partners to move upstream.
“We are in a different place now, and we’re not trying to move our partners into the midmarket with the same product line,” Mitchell said. “Now it’s a case of the product meeting the market and the market meeting the customer.”
To demonstrate its belief that midmarket is the space to attack, Avaya is making its midmarket play 100 percent channel-focused, Mitchell said, with a number of incentive programs to help channel partners make their mark. “The margins are very favorable,” he added.