Avaya Makes Marketing Strides to Become Sales-Led Partner Organization

Avaya is a year into its 18-month turnaround.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

January 23, 2019

4 Min Read
Avaya Cloud Solutions at Engage 2019

(Pictured above: Avaya shows off its cloud solutions in the Solutions Expo at Avaya Engage, Jan. 22.)

AVAYA ENGAGE — Avaya has streamlined and simplified its branding and marketing to achieve its goal of being a sales-led partner organization.

That’s according to Becky Carr, Avaya’s head of global marketing. She gave an update on marketing and priorities Tuesday at Avaya Engage 2019 in Austin, Texas. Avaya is a year into its 18-month turnaround, and president and CEO Jim Chirico said 2018 was the first chapter of improving his company’s trajectory as a business.

There are a lot of new competitors in the market giving Avaya a run for its money, which “gave us a great opportunity to revitalize the brand,” Carr said. All the “great bones” were there; it’s just building around it, she said.

Everything has been product-centric with “product names all over the place … but the customer wasn’t [at] the center of everything,” she said.

In the last six months, Avaya has rewritten its website and simplified its portfolio, Carr said.


Avaya’s Becky Carr

“Before, it was really unclear … and not contextualized around UC and CC,” she said. “Why should someone consider Avaya? So how do we set ourselves up in messaging? We’re going to be simple, plainspoken, confident in our value.”

This culminated in Avaya rolling out a simplified branding architecture for its solutions portfolio, based on input from customers and partners. Avaya Intelligent Xperiences – or Avaya IX – includes the entire portfolio of solutions for contact center, unified communications and collaboration.

Three months ago, partners had 17 different Avaya websites to use, increasing complexity, so the company launched a consolidated sales site that provides access to everything they need, Carr said.

“We are putting a lot of emphasis on our partners … arming them to win in the market,” she said. “We need to make them successful or we’re going to fail.”

Avaya is all about generating leads, with 80 percent going to partners instead of direct sales. In the past, Avaya has sent partners “hundreds of leads,” but now it’s not going to send something unless it makes good use of a partner’s time, Carr said.

“I’ve been pretty excited about how far we’ve come in a short time, and we have a long way to go,” Carr said. “This is something we take very seriously. I’m excited to come back next year and share the impact marketing has had. We’re operating on all cylinders.”

Also Tuesday, Avaya and Verint Systems announced an expansion of their partnership to introduce cloud deployments for Avaya Workforce Engagement Management, designed to improve customer experience through operational intelligence in the contact center.

Avaya also unveiled an integrated Slack app for Avaya communication platforms, an extension of its cloud-native application ecosystem delivering a more consumerized and user-driven approach.

Chris McGugan, Avaya’s senior vice president of solutions and technology, said his company is investing $150 million annually in research and development in its core technologies, and last year rolled out 20 new devices and revamped its …

… solutions portfolio.

“It’s all being driven by a cloud-first, mobile-first mindset,” he said. “We’re infusing artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, and will continue to see that going forward. Avaya has been in the AI space for some time and it’s driving the way contact center is deployed.”

Also during the conference, Avaya named ConvergeOne its U.S. Service Partner of the Year. It resells Avaya products, has implementation services and installs, and integrations.

David Lover, ConvergeOne’s vice president of strategy and technology, said Avaya has always been “really good” when it comes to technology and it’s always been easy to do business with from a technical level.

“We’re all passionate about taking a platform that in the old days of telecommunications was very siloed and it was very closed, and there [are] a lot of vendors out there who are really very closed – some of the very popular ones – but Avaya’s not one of them,” he said. “They’re opening up their APIs; they’re letting you not only do what they intended to do with their product, but allow me to do things that I want to do with their product, without having to reinvent it. So I get more building blocks to play with and it works out really well for them.”

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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