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March 07, 2012

AVAYA News - Avaya Talks with TMCnet about Simplifying the Ordering Process for its Customers

By Carrie Schmelkin, TMCnet Web Editor

When Avaya (News - Alert) announced its groundbreaking DevConnect (News - Alert) Select Product Program – a program that simplifies the way customers order Avaya-compatible, third-party collaboration applications – officials wanted to make sure one message resonated loud and clear: this latest initiative is all about enabling its customer base.

“Customers, as well as channel partners, face a number of challenges simply due to the purchasing processes each has in place, from negotiating supplier agreements to incorporating new products and ordering codes in their management systems,” Eric Rossman (News - Alert), vice president, Developer Relations, Avaya, told TMCnet. “For channel partners, there is often an additional investment in training and authorizations from a number of vendors that also comes into consideration when they look at new solutions.” 

“This program streamlines the ordering process as the customers can order from their existing Avaya reseller and the Avaya reseller can add these solutions to their portfolio through their current business process,” he added. “As customers shift from buying products to solutions, Avaya has recognized the additional burden this places on both our channel partners and customers.  By allowing the customer to source multi-vendor elements through Avaya, we reduce the impact to their organizations, allowing business leaders to act expediently.”

Taking advantage of the recent heightened demand for enterprise communication applications, Avaya has decided to ride the wave of application interest and unveiled its DevConnect Select Product Program. Thanks to the new program, both Avaya customers and channel partners can now order particular DevConnect Technology Partner applications directly from Avaya or its distributors instead of having to go through DevConnect partner companies or their resellers.

With the DevConnect Select Product Program, applications that are chosen from a DevConnect Technology Partner and are placed in the Select Product Program. These applications can then be purchased either individually or as part of the complete Avaya-based communications solution in order to bring new features to a customer's operations. In so doing, the need for multiple vendor relationships and transactions is eradicated and the ordering process is streamlined for customers and Avaya Connect Channel partners.

Avaya officials select the applications that are available through the Select Product Program after two criteria have been met. First, the applications must be proven interoperable through DevConnect Compliance Testing and then characterized as essential for enhancing Avaya's portfolio offering.

Since the demand for enterprise communications applications continues to burgeon rapidly, now is as good a time as ever to introduce such a program. And for Avaya, the timing is perfect.

“Business, especially in the areas of communications and information technology, moves at an ever-increasing pace,” Rossman said. “This program allows Avaya to capitalize on the rapid innovations driven by our DevConnect partner community by incorporating best-of-breed solutions in to our overall portfolio while still providing customers with a choice of solutions. In our initial set of Select Products, we have multiple vendors providing solutions for video, small business and for public safety. The DevConnect Select Products Program allows us to incorporate a variety uniquely differentiated offers from several vendors, ultimately benefiting our customers with more choices to suit their business needs.”

Currently, eight DevConnect Technology Partners have been selected as part of the initial program and these partners offer technologies ranging from monitoring and reporting functions to predictive dialing, E911 and IP video, as well as call recording for small businesses. The companies include: 911 ETC, Communication Resources, Inc. (CRI (News - Alert)), Conveyant Systems, DATEL Software Solutions, Integrated Research, NMS Adaptive, VBrick Systems and Xima Software.

VBrick, for one, is “very excited” to have been chosen as one of the flagship members of Avaya's Select Product Program, according to Greg Zweig, director of corporate marketing for vBrick.

“This is a pretty bold step for a market leader,” he said in an Avaya blog. “It reflects a changing dynamic in the organization, and a reflection that markets are moving fast and Avaya isn’t sitting still. This program says – hold it – we are agile and we really believe in the value of an ecosystem. [Avaya] is really solving your customer’s problems and doing it in a way that offers best of breed choices and simplifies life for [Avaya’s] resellers.”

Initially, the Avaya DevConnect Select Product Program is being introduced in the U.S. only, but it is expected to expand globally throughout the remainder of the year.

Avaya DevConnect, a global program spanning technology companies in over 145 countries, is designed to bolster the development, marketing and enablement of third-party products that extend the value of a customer's investment in its Avaya communication, collaboration, contact center or networking portfolios.

So what does this latest development mean for Avaya and how it continues to maintain its competitive edge in the industry?

“Avaya has always had a focus in building a strong ecosystem, a commitment to openness and interoperability, and a focus on delivering customer choices that maximize their value,” Rossman said. “We see this program as simply a continuation and proof point of those ideals.”

Edited by Rich Steeves

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