SMEs a key focus area for Avaya going into 2012

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Enterprise communications, software and services provider Avaya is placing a heavy focus on SMEs in Latin America under its Avaya Connect program, Roberto Ricossa, Avaya's channels and marketing director for Americas international, told BNamericas.

"A very important element of our strategy going forward is to ensure we have a set of resellers focused on the SME space... because we believe that's one of the areas of growth in Latin America for 2012," he said. "At the end of the day, it's the combination of our existing channel partners focusing on that, while also bringing in new channel partners to the ecosystem, to develop the concept of capillarity - allowing us to reach more customers in more places with Avaya solutions."

And that focus on channel partners does not necessarily have to do with the size of the partner, Ricossa added. "Not all channels are created equally or sustained equally; they don't develop in the same spaces. Our program recognizes the value an end-customer sees in the channel community. We recognize that volume is important, but also value what a reseller would bring into our equation."

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As such, a smaller reseller could be highly important to Avaya, as it might be targeting a specific niche, such as the case with a high-end solutions offer in a vertical segment like hospitality, he noted.

Avaya Connect is the company's flagship channel program, which differentiates different levels of partners - silver, gold and platinum - according to the value each brings to the end user. "It also has to do with being innovative in going to market, making sure we have the right partner delivering the right products and solutions to the customers," Ricossa said. The idea is to combine all of the partners' strengths to focus on a particular market segment.

Another key area of focus is the entire data networking offering, said the executive, highlighting that Avaya takes the number one spot in Latin America's contact center space, according to Frost & Sullivan. "That, along with the leadership we have in unified communications, allows us to have a view that not only the applications are important for the customers, but also having the right infrastructure to support those applications is really important," which applies to both SMEs and large corporations, he said.

More insight into the uptake of unified communications by SMEs, including commentary from some of Avaya's partners in Latin America, can be found in the December issue of BNamericas' Telecom Intelligence Series, now available at this link.

International press had previously reported that Avaya was preparing for an IPO, after a 2007 delisting, following its purchase by private equity firms Silver Lake and TPG Capital for US$8.3bn. But Ricossa was unable to comment on this possibility.