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Speed and flexibility

Avaya adopts master agent model for the new Avaya Cloud Office by RingCentral UCaaS solution

Last month, the UK became the second region to deploy Avaya Cloud Office by RingCentral (ACO), Avaya’a new subscription-based, all-in-on UCaaS solution for calling, team messaging, video meetings and conferencing.

Avaya UK & Ireland Managing Director Steve Joyner described the launch of ACO, which enables Avaya to offer a choice of public, private and hybrid cloud solutions, as a ‘milestone’ and a ‘key, key component’ in its evolution into a software and services and transformation company.

He said: “In our last quarter earnings, 88% of our revenues are represented by software and services – that’s a record for Avaya. We saw a 5-point sequential growth on our recurring revenues and things like our cloud alliances are up to a record 23% as well. All these are key indicators of where we need to be as a software and services company. Avaya Cloud Office by RingCentral is an absolute perfect accelerator for the next motion.”

It is also, he suggested, a great opportunity for the channel, with a total addressable market in the UK of $4 billion across the enterprise ($1,749 million), mid-market ($1,455 million) and small business ($810 million) sectors.

Master agent model
To help attract the types of reseller that might have been beyond its reach in the past, such as born-in-the-cloud resellers, IT resellers and BPOs, Avaya has appointed Westcon, Scansource, Avant and Telarus as master agents, adopting a master agent model that is well established in the US but less common in the UK.

Alison Hastings

Alison Hastings, UK Channel Leader at Avaya, said that this model makes the transition to UC cloud software easier and means that existing partners, which Avaya says it wants to continue to work with, can add a public cloud offering to their portfolios without needing to be cloud experts.

She said: “The partner does not have to go through a rigorous sign up process to be an Avaya partner; they just go online and sign up and will be set up in a matter of days. Partners and agents receive a fee for every new customer they introduce, depending on the term and length of the contract, and they also receive an upfront payment as well as ongoing revenue without having to invest in infrastructure and resources.”

When asked whether partners were coming to terms with the master agent model, Hastings said: “There was resistance originally from some of our existing partners, but they transformed and are now on-board. They recognise that times are changing and it’s now all about speed. The master agency model enables you to sign up to this cloud solution really quickly.”

Avaya has so far signed up around 170 existing partners and 1,700 agents and the number is increasing all the time.

Steve Joyner added: “The traditional partners, and the master agents and agents, are seeing the value of the economics. They realise they can drive bottom line numbers much more quickly than they could in a traditional on-prem arrangement. Secondly, they have come to realise that this doesn’t inhibit their ability to add services and extra value.”

This can be done through programmes Avaya has developed to attract existing partners, such as a certified delivery programme for ACO deployments, as well as through features of the application itself, like open APIs for custom-built ntegrations with specific customer environments. These are in addition to out-of-the-box integrations with more than 130 widely used third party applications, including Salesforce, Slack, Box, Google, Microsoft and Amazon, that enable users to enhance existing processes with click-to-dial functionality or analytics.

Avaya Cloud office meeting

An Avaya experience
Avaya Cloud Office by RingCentral is the product of a partnership between Avaya, a leader in unified communications and contact centre solutions, and RingCentral, a leading unified communications as a service (UCaaS) provider.

In bringing it to market, Avaya has been eager to provide customers with a recognisably Avaya-like experience, to which end it has married the RingCentral UCaaS platform with the value that Avaya can bring in areas such as high touch support at every stage of the customer lifecycle; streamlined customer migration (e.g. the ability to reuse J series phones and the provision of migration toolkits to take customers from an on-prem solution into the cloud); and unique telephony features that are only accessible via specific Avaya hardware devices.

The app itself offers users a high degree of flexibility and versatility regardless of where the user is or what device they are using. For example, they can start a message in an app on the desktop and move it over to an app on their smartphone, or they can start team messaging and then escalate it to a voice call complete with the files needed for sharing.

Above all, ACO gives Avaya a credible public UCaaS solution that partners can take to the millions of Avaya customers that are interested in making the transition from on-premises communications to the cloud.

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