Avaya Brings Home Another 5-Star Rating in CRN’s 2015 Partner Program Guide Under the Leadership of Avaya’s Own CRN Channel Chief

It’s with no small amount of pride that we are pleased to announce that we’ve been awarded with a 5-star rating in CRN’s 2015 Partner Program Guide – now for the sixth year in a row.

This annual directory is the definitive listing of technology vendors that service solution providers or provide products through the IT channel. The 5-Star Partner Program rating recognizes an elite subset of companies that offer solution providers the best partnering elements in their channel programs based on investments in program offerings, partner profitability, partner training, education and support, marketing programs and resources, sales support and communication.

Further, this award is compounded by CRN’s recognition of Richard Steranka as a 2015 Channel Chief, for his work driving Avaya’s efforts to improve the profitability of our channel partners.

As a Channel Chief, Richard represents one of the most powerful leaders in the IT channel driving growth through their indirect channel partners. Individuals are selected for inclusion based on their track record of channel accomplishments, standing in the industry, dedication to the partner community, and plans for driving future business innovation and channel growth.

It may seem obvious that there’s a symbiotic relationship between vendors and their channel partners. They depend on one other; each one must make a commitment to the other to be successful.

Successful channel programs require an open dialogue between the partner and the vendor to understand each other’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and frustrations. Sometimes these conversations are heated and other times they’re celebratory. It’s all part of clearing the pathways for success.

The Avaya Connect Partner Program is and has been a work-in-progress. The business world is more dynamic than ever. New rules – many yet unwritten – need to replace older, outmoded ones. Less than a decade ago, most companies equated what’s now called “cloud services” with Centrex; the move to software for real-time communications was just starting to turn into an upswing, although a large part of a partner’s revenue could still come from selling hardware: PBXs and telephones.

That’s all changed, and skills and programs need to move with the changes for partners and vendors to stay relevant. This year, 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.

Under Steranka’s leadership, we’ve worked with partners to enable them to be there for customers who are increasingly moving from premises-based IT operations to cloud-based services. 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.

We’ve also restructured our partner recognition program to make customer value through expertise, customer satisfaction and experience the central theme of the program. It’s our customers who decide whether either of us provides the value that warrants an ongoing relationship, so it behooves us to drive a standard of excellence for our solutions as well as our go-to-market efforts.

We’re looking forward to better enablement for our channel and greater success for our partners. We can’t wait to see what Richard and team have in store for the year ahead.

The 2015 Partner Program Guide will be featured in the April issue of CRN, and online at www.CRN.com.

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