Q&A with Fadi Moubarak, Channel Director, Asia, Middle East and Africa, Avaya
- What is the latest launch from Avaya about?
Globally, we are announcing Avaya Midmarket Cloud solutions – two flexible deployment options to enable Avaya channel partners to seamlessly evolve midsize companies to the advanced capabilities needed for digital business. Both options, Powered by Avaya IP Office ™ and OnAvaya™ – Google™ Cloud Platform, can enable true, hybrid clouds that allow customers to maximize their investments in more than 1 million Avaya systems worldwide.
This is Avaya’s first complete unified communications and contact center cloud offers for midsize businesses, bringing an unparalleled full-stack solution that will enable seamless integration and migration between premises-based and cloud. This will enable channel partners to seize untapped market opportunities and evolve over a million existing Avaya systems to the cloud, globally.
- What is the significance of this announcement to channel partners?
The fact is that customers are moving to the cloud, and with this launch, Avaya is enabling channel partners to take them there and make money along the way. Our partners can now leverage their existing IP Office Solutions product knowledge and sales expertise, without undergoing additional product training.
The most appealing benefit to partners are the growth and profitability they can experience by virtue of new, recurring revenue streams including new value added cloud services they can now provide. There will be the always-welcome financial benefit of improved margins and revenue via the monthly usage subscription model. By mixing and matching the on-premise and cloud, Avaya’s unique hybrid cloud allows easy partners and customers scale their infrastructure and integration up or down, as needed.
- What differentiates Avaya’s midmarket cloud from competitive offerings?
The Avaya solution provides unmatched flexibility in deployment along the customer journey, without compromise and absolutely no feature loss. Partners and customers can effectively ‘have it their way’ at the speed and timing that is right for them. This is currently the most-integrated globally available deployment options, and with on-premises, hybrid, and full cloud solutions (one code base), Avaya offers the most flexible options for partner growth.
- How does Avaya Midmarket Solutions fit with Avaya’s Enterprise Cloud story? How is this different from the enterprise cloud offering from Avaya?
Cloud is a journey, not a single point. Today, Avaya is the only communications provider that can scale on all axes. The ‘Powered By Avaya’ and ‘OnAvaya’ products target our midsize customer base and take advantage of a huge installed base to address the explosive market growth in this segment. The Enterprise Cloud is for larger companies that may have a need for more sophisticated functionality.
- What is Avaya’s game plan for helping and guiding channel partners to capitalise on the rapidly shifting IT landscape in the Middle East?
As we continue to evolve into a solutions and services company, it is strategically important for us to reflect this transformation to the channel partners we work with. Key for us is value-based selling and the ability of channel partners to understand the IT requirements of customers and their business outcomes as well. This process will show value in the near term, and will also differentiate our partners as they expand into new solutions and new verticals.
We are building specialisation with verticals with a view to building relevance; it is one thing to apply technology horizontally, but it’s much more powerful when you can address the unique business challenges faced by players in each vertical. We are also working with our channel partners to empower them as they go after customers in vertical, with packaged solutions that are proven business-ready.
All of these are complemented with our solutions-oriented sales trainings, our rebate programs, and supported by our channel strategy as a whole.
- What software opportunities lie ahead for channel partners in the business communications, network and infrastructure market in the region?
There is significant interest in the anything-as-a-service (XaaS) model in the region. The public cloud services market in the region has grown as more organisations increase their use of applications across verticals. Avaya has focused on the transformation occurring in the industry and how channel partners can capitalize on the shift, particularly around cloud-delivered engagement solutions. By spring 2016, we are going to offer all of our solutions in an “as-a-service” consumable model – the only vendor in this space that is able to do so.
This is a powerful statement for our partners. Some are fully prepared for this model, and some aren’t – we’re happy to work with both. For those who want to get into SaaS, we want to help them go after different customers and increase their business. Many Avaya partners are now able to offer a cloud-based service through a wholesaler or distributor, or may be launching their own service based on Avaya Customer and Team Engagement solutions for enterprises or midmarket companies.