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Avaya ramps up Connect partner programme

Alex Scroxton
Avaya has rolled out a series of enhancements to its one year-old Connect partner programme at its annual conference, which this year is being held in Barcelona.

The networking, convergence and UC vendor, which bought Nortel's enterprise business this time last year, has added new business management tools, including a diploma in marketing business services and solutions provided by ITSMA and the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

The conference has also seen the launch of a global partner help desk, as well as new technology certifications around data and video.

In a keynote speech, worldwide channel vice-president Jeremy Butt blasted competitors who said Avaya had no business billing itself as a data company.

"We absolutely are a data business. The competition has nowhere left to go," he said.

Butt also laid out changes that Avaya plans to make in the coming years, giving resellers visibility of its agenda through to September 2013.

As well as a growing focus on specialisations, Avaya will remove automatic partner entitlement to marketing development funds and go to a discretionary model, where resellers are obliged to apply for funds.

It will also introduce a customer satisfaction element to partner requirements. Resellers will in future have to provide evidence, in the form of customer surveys, and obtain a satisfaction rating in order to remain on the programme.

Avaya has already taken a stricter line with its channel in recent months and has seen substantial numbers leave the programme.

"We have fewer partners today than on 1 February," said Butt. "We changed the Ts&Cs and some players didn't like that."

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