Avaya: Integration of Avaya, Nortel Channels a Success

A little more than seven months after Avayas acquisition of Nortel was completed, channel partners have made their migration, Avayas North American channel chief said.

August 12, 2010

2 Min Read
Avaya: Integration of Avaya, Nortel Channels a Success

By Charlene O'Hanlon

A little more than seven months after Avaya acquired telecom stalwart Nortel, the channel partners of both companies have made their transition into the new ecosystem with few hiccups, said Avayas North American channel chief.

The coming together of the two channels was pretty successful,” said Carol Neslund, vice president, North American Channel at Avaya. We were able to quickly move the two programs together and gave Nortel partners a path forward to understand how they fit into the Avaya framework.”

Avaya completed its purchase of Nortel last December and launched a new product roadmap less than a month later, spelling out which Nortel products would remain a part of the Avaya portfolio and which ones would be eliminated. Nortels channel partners were invited to join the Avaya partner program post-acquisition, and Neslund said more than 100 percent of the partners Avaya targeted made the transition.

From the Platinum and Gold partner perspective, got all of them,” she said. We were targeting 102 Platinum and Gold partners, and of the Silver partners we targeted 77 but had 82 sign on, so thats a more than 100 percent uptake.”

Neslund noted that so far the only hiccup has been in the companys delivery of information about its integrated roadmap. There was just too much information to digest all at once,” she said. We would have been better off, and it would have been much more understandable for the Nortel partners if we had not provided all the information at once.”

Consequently, the company spent a fair amount of time over the summer helping all of its channel partners understand both the technology and the sales opportunities. We held training boot camps, deep dive sessions, lunch and learns all to help them understand.  We give ourselves a B in helping people understand what to do with that information (the product roadmap) on the street level, and weve gone a long way to address that,” she said.

Now, Neslund said, Avaya is helping its partners especially those partners who had a services business under Nortel see how they can move beyond product selling.

In every high-tech community services are a question because solution providers always want to know how they can be more involved with the customer,” she said. We are working on having an even clearer roadmap for them.”

In advance of its 2010 Global Sales and Americas Partner Conference in October, Neslund said Avaya is focusing on two areas with its partners: helping them understand the changes and the strategy with regards to Avaya Connect, and how they can monetize their installed bases with the application offerings that were announced in July. We see some real opportunities for our partners to go into new areas with their existing customers,” Neslund said.

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