Lessons From Avaya EPF

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| Peter Radizeski of RAD-INFO, Inc. talking telecom, Cloud, VoIP, CLEC, and The Channel.

Lessons From Avaya EPF

Interesting Sales Tips from Avaya's Executive Partner Forum last month

"38% of salespeople understand the customer's issues and are able to identify how the vendor can help." Just 38%. That means two-thirds of salespeople are still selling the old way. Training and sales coaching is needed.

"If you have more money than brains, focus on outbound (old fashioned) marketing. If you have more brains, focus on inbound marketing." - Roberto Ricossa, VP of Marketing & Inside Sales at Avaya.

"It's critical today that all partners build out robust service offerings. Leads to higher volume, higher margin deals." Good advice.

"Avaya has 360K IP office systems <- Compared to #ShoreTel's 28K customers, shows the breadth of IP office customers Avaya has now sold more IP Office than its ever sold BCM." from Sheila McGee-Smith.

"IP Office" is Swiss Army knife for mid-market - turnkey or DYI component sourcing, flexible packaging / deployment / licensing models.

"Avaya is everywhere!" Voice-Video-Data together.

Shifting Strategy from tech to customers. <-- Good lesson there.

"Play Offense" - growing market, no need to focus only on protecting installed base "relevance leads to revenue"- great quote from CTO Brett Shockley. Play Offense was a theme apparently. (see here)

Dino Marasco, VP, Global Service Provider and Systems Integrators at Avaya, asks "AvayaEPF crowd if they think Avaya is in the cloud business. Only 5% of hands go up, since Avaya has been VERY quiet re: cloud"

Avaya CMO Mark Wilson, "@Avaya will soon launch new advertising campaign that emphasizes use cases. Avaya will also revamp website." Website and ads - apparently the CMO missed the comment earlier about more money than brains. You need a website, but a new website by itself isn't going to work. Use cases are almost a requirement today since we have moved beyond just a phone system - and we have to demonstrate value specifically to target verticals.

"Avaya Operation Services (managed services) had more $10M deals than #CPE in 2013 for the first time," tweets Richard Steranka, VP, WW Partner Organization at Avaya. Professional services is required since unified communications needs Integration in order for the organization to see the most benefit.

Blair Pleasant wrote, "This is a different Avaya than I've heard in a while - use cases, business value, etc. So refreshing. finally!" Avaya is a very different company from 10 years ago. Today, two-thirds of revenue is from software, not hardware. (Plus those big PS/MS deals at $10M).

The tweets about Avaya are telling a story about the change happening at a traditional premise based PBX company, a hardware company. If Avaya is making a shift this big - hardware to software, adding video to voice, big dollar PS deals - then channel partners should also be making a shift to stay relevant.

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