Changes aim to boost incentives, streamline Edge program requirements
Avaya Holdings Corp. this week unveiled a series of changes to its Avaya Edge partner program in an effort to make life easier and more rewarding for the unified communications vendor’s increasingly diverse cadre of channel partners.
The Lowdown: The changes are primarily to the Edge program’s benefits and incentive structure and are designed to stimulate cloud solutions sales across Avaya’s growing partner community, which now includes enterprise VARs, midmarket- and SMB-focused solution providers, systems integrators, and more, company officials said.
The Details: Making Avaya easier to do business with featured heavily in partner feedback that informed the new changes, company officials said. In addition to reducing program complexity, the Edge program now puts emphasis on inclusivity, offering standardized incentives and uniform opportunities for growth to all partners regardless of size or business model.
Specifically, the program enhancements include:
— Simplification in requirements, how the programs work, and how they are explained and documented.
— A shift from running Avaya’s fiscal year to running calendar year, to better align with partners’ businesses.
— A reduction in requirements to earn benefits
— Significantly more rebate dollars for selling net new Avaya UC or CC solutions
The Impact: Avaya officials tell Channelnomics that they’ve not only simplified programs, but also the way partners are trained on them. In one program, the vendor lopped 126 possible commissions down to just nine, making the commissions more predictable, and removing a painful retroactive performance evaluation that included a manual appeals process.
Background: Avaya is looking to maintain momentum for its Edge program, which has been making strides over the past year. According to company data, the number of Avaya partners eligible for rebates grew 281 percent between 2017 and 2018. In the same period, the vendor saw a 159 percent jump in the number of partners with greater than 10 percent growth in Avaya sales revenue.
The Buzz: “Avaya Edge is a comprehensive program for channel partners that now benefits from further improvements for 2019,” said Tim Banting, principal analyst at GlobalData. “Some vendor programs leave channels confused with complex structures and incentive programs, which can lead to misaligned sales behavior and issues in partner profitability. Avaya has constructed a comprehensive program that simplifies, integrates, and aligns with channel partner needs to help drive growth and introduce additional business opportunities.”
“Much of the coming year’s focus will empower channel partners to easily deploy cloud-based products as cloud adoption continues to skyrocket — for example, Avaya has grown its public cloud seats 300 percent in the past year,” said Dino Di Palma, president of Americas sales and global accounts at Avaya. “Avaya’s range of cloud-based services continues to expand and is expected to provide significant growth opportunities for all channel partners in 2019.”
Channelnomics Point of View: Ease of doing business is always a top-of-mind issue for partners when contemplating vendor selection and relationships. As such, any effort to wring complexity out of channel program structures and more liberally distribute benefits across tiers is likely to win over hearts and minds of partners, particularly those in the lower strata of the program.