Edge World Tour

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Avaya has spent the first month since listing as a public company traveling the globe and speaking to customers and partners about how they plan to build the business and attack market segments with strategic investments and developments. Editor David Dungay went along to the London leg of their Edge World Tour to speak to Avaya’s Fadi Moubarak, Vice President, Channels and Steve Joyner, EU Channel Lead, to see what they have in store for partners in 2018.

Ioan MacRae, UK Managing Director of Avaya, opened the day by talking about the future. The rhetoric throughout the day painted an Avaya that isn’t interested in just sweating their giant installed base, they are looking to get out into the market and help transform how partners go to market.

Their Loyalthy2gether programme is designed to help Avaya’s most valuable asset – its customer base on older platforms. The programme provides CS1000 customers with a range of options to take their communications and collaboration solutions capabilities to the next level, enabling fast and secure digital transformation of the customer and employee experience.

So, how exactly is Avaya planning to achieve this?

Fadi Moubarak commented, “To deliver a new customer experience, or the ‘Digital Transformation’ you have to use multiple technologies. We started our strategy a year ago, product wise before that even. We opened our products up for the partners to develop their own functionalities and values on our platform.”

Fadi is talking about the Avaya ecosystem which encourages a more collaborative approach from partners to build solutions of real value.

He continued, “Some of our partners have already started on that journey and are delivering results, the demos we are bringing today are not about what Avaya products can do but what can be done with Avaya products. We show them how we integrate Avaya with AI products out there, chat bots and other business applications like fleet management to deliver specific customer experiences.”

“When our partners talk to customers today the discussions starts with what the solution can do, how it fits with the current processes and opportunities but also solve the challenges they are facing. The last things to be discussed are normally the technology and then the price. Not that those bits aren’t important, but their weight in the equation has become less and the business outcome and benefits are key.”

Having developed a platform which allows partners to build and collaborate together, surely Avaya is trying to attract a vast array of new partners?

Fadi continued, “We do need new types of partners to come into our ecosystem. We want partners that are good at developing applications, we are encouraging them to come into the ecosystem and work with those traditional partners who really understand what the customer needs and the business processes but don’t have the in-house development skills.”

picSteve Joyner added, “Back in the day you tended to have bigger, but fewer, partners. You didn’t have to navigate this ecosystem as much. Now you have more partners in certain areas and even more partners partnering with partners!” (try saying that three times fast!)

The collaboration between partners is now vital as not everyone has all of the pillars they need. Some are good at installation, developing, pure cloud, I find interesting looking at the room now, 20 years ago they would all be in pockets in their own groups. Now they are all collaborating together.”

Collaborating to produce what exactly? It’s all about the customer experience!

“Differentiation isn’t coming from core activities, it is coming from operational activities with the use of technology. Take what Uber has done, they don’t own a single car or driver, they are using technology to compete. Look at the airline industry, we have Airbus and Boeing – how do they differentiate? It’s with the customer experience and services they develop.”

Those partners managing to step to Avaya’s new tune were in for a treat as the UK Partner of the Year Awards were also announced on the day. See the winners below.

  • UK Enterprise Distributor of the Year: Westcon
  • Contact Centre Partner of the Year: Sabio
  • Powered By Cloud Partner of the Year: 6 Degrees
  • Private Cloud Deployment of the Year: BT Wholesale and 4net Technologies
  • Enterprise Growth Partner of the Year: IP Integration
  • Midmarket Growth Partner of the Year: Formation Tech
  • Innovation Partner of the Year: 4net Technologies
  • Project of the Year: Sabio
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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine