Making A Difference

Making A Difference

Jim Robertson of MTV Telecom

Avaya has appointed MTV Telecom and Nimans to distribute their MultiVantage Express and also the S8300 server with four media gateways, plus the Enterprise handsets. This is thought to represent about 70% of the Avaya Enterprise portfolio.

What experience do you have in selling larger systems?

Jim Robertson, Commercial Director, MTV Telecom (JR), MTV Telecom has considerable historic experience selling midmarket within Siemens and Alcatel portfolios and of course the Swyx product being the first soft IPBX into the market. It has therefore become second nature to our Account Managers to respond to complex quotes and tenders and to be able to provide all the necessary support infrastructures pre and post sales. Furthermore, with our recent acquisition by ScanSource Communications (Catalyst) in the US we now have an organisation behind us who are Avaya’s largest distributor in the Enterprise space and many years of valuable experience to call upon.

Phil Adams, Sales Director Nimans (PA), We’ve been selling into the corporate enterprise market for many years, such as with Ericsson. We know the market

and understand the issues and have the in-house experience and expertise in place.

What additional resource have you both put in place to support resellers with sales and technical support?

(JR) The Multivantage Express does pose new challenges; however it should be noted that the whole point of the MVE is that it has been repackaged to make installation, support and pricing as simple as possible and this represents a big step forward for the channel. MTV Telecom in conjunction with Avaya will be able to take away the need for Resellers to invest heavily on technical engineers as Avaya will be able to offer various support packages from basic installs to full project management, therefore allowing the reseller to invest as their business grows. MTV Telecom has further enhanced the sales/pre sales and support teams. The ethos within MTV Telecom has always been based around providing the highest levels of support within the industry and the inclusion of MVE is another opportunity to demonstrate our expertise. A further layer on top of this offering will be the support and benefits within the ‘Get Closer’ programme.

(PA) We have the skills force in place to fully support our customers. We had to prove ourselves before we got the products and have expanded and developed our team accordingly – as reflected by our Diamond Distributor Status.

Why do you think Avaya has made this move to expand their Enterprise product distribution?

(JR) Avaya is extremely serious in their intention to dominate the mid-market and to do so they need a bigger footprint with the expertise through their distribution channel. Their choice of MTV Telecom obviously gives them this opportunity and the channel the extra credit line, the expertise and the support and indeed the necessary choice. We enjoy a loyal base and we therefore are well placed to bring on board net new business. Furthermore, resellers should always have choice and having a single distributor was not tenable or indeed appropriate.

(PA) Previously Avaya only had a single distributor in this market space and it is not their general policy to do so. Increased competition opens up the market which is healthy for all concerned.

Why would resellers come to either of your companies for Avaya Enterprise products instead of sticking with Westcon?

(JR) I think it is generally acknowledged that Westcon offer a level of service which may or may not be in line with expectation but it is never a healthy position when the channel is not offered a true choice of companies to partner with. Competition is always healthy and we look forward to the challenge!

 

(PA) Avaya identified a gap in their distribution model which we have been able to fill. We have been Avaya’s Largest Growth Distributor in the past and have been very active in the SMB market for the last four years. This new agreement allows a lot of our existing resellers to capitalise on converting their existing base to MultiVantage Express. This is our dedicated market space. We are masters at delivering into the mid-range and SME/SMB market, it’s our niche. We are very strong up to 1,000 extensions and are the perfect partner; we understand the market and the resellers that operate there and have the platform firmly in place to support them.

How will you differentiate yourselves from the other Avaya Enterprise distributors?

(JR) We will differentiate ourselves as always by providing a solution-based approach and by being able to support the reseller throughout the sales cycle and to ensure that the necessary infrastructure is available to them. Our personnel are extremely well trained and the levels of service we give was instrumental in MTV Telecom being award Avaya EMEA Distributor of the Year (SMB) at Avaya’s annual conference in November 2007. Furthermore, we have always differentiated ourselves by being totally channel focused – we do not believe in competing with our resellers by having a corporate or direct arm.

(PA) Nimans has a growing and loyal customer base which can be attributed to many factors. For example our logistics operation is the best in the business. We will continue to offer the highest service standards across all levels, such as massive stock levels from an independent, financially secure distributor. What’s key in this particular market is the ability to hold stock. We have the capacity here to provide our customers with what they want, when they need it. It’s something which Nimans is renowned for – and we pay for that stock too!

Phil Adams of Nimans

 

What about credit? These larger systems have a big ticket value. How will MTV Telecom handle this?

(JR) Credit is always an issue and we are looking for various mechanisms to assist resellers in supporting their opportunities, such as interest-free lease options in conjunction with Avaya. However, we do recognise the need to be flexible in this arena.

(PA) Nimans will continue to offer our customers a wide range of financial support as supplying large systems is nothing new for us. What percentage of the Avaya Enterprise sales budget do you anticipate selling?

(JR) It is always difficult to anticipate market reaction but we are hoping to substantially increase the Enterprise footprint and we would hope to enjoy within the first year a 40% market share.

(PA) That’s one we are keeping to ourselves at the moment but we view this as a positive step for us, for Avaya and our customers, and anticipate high levels of sales.

How will you expand the market for Avaya Enterprise products as opposed to taking business away from Westcon?

(JR) Although we acknowledge that there will be an element of share shift as we certainly share some reseller relationships, the majority of growth will be via net new business as we see the weaknesses from other vendors which we believe we can take advantage of, especially at this time with Mitel, Alcatel and Nortel.

(PA) We feel it is Avaya’s intention to grow this market through their existing business partners, predominantly looking at SME/SMB customers and taking them up to the next level.

Do you think the channel will welcome this move by Avaya to expand distribution?

(JR) There was a pent-up demand for this strategic move to be implemented and clearly competition is always good. This decision by Avaya has been extremely well received.

(PA) The channel has been actively pushing for this as previously there was only one distributor they could use. They are welcoming this with open arms. The feedback we’re getting is all extremely positive.

What additional Avaya Enterprise product training have you organised for your channel partners?

(JR) We have a programme in place for sales, technical, demonstration and ASD training – together with specific marketing campaigns and lead generation

(PA) Nimans is carrying out a comprehensive support programme with our first training courses scheduled for May. As an Avaya Certified Education Partner we will continue to educate and train our business partners to the highest levels possible.

 
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