2011 Avaya Conference – Laying the Foundation for Growth

The 2011 Avaya Global Sales and Americas Partner Conference was held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada from October 17-21, 2010 aptly themed: “The New Avaya…It’s All About Growth.” Avaya President and CEO Kevin Kennedy welcomed participants to the New Avaya, speaking to a theme of “Laying the Foundation for Growth in FY 2011.


Avatel, as a long term Channel Partner with Avaya, was in attendance and fully supports Avaya’s theme…It’s All About Growth. The discussions at the conference were directed at the Avaya Partner Community, but actually pertain to any business that wants to prosper in this economy.

As I wrote about in a previous post on Sept. 11th – Growing your business isn’t just a worthy goal; growing your business is a necessity for your business’s survival and your economic well-being. Growing a business can be tough in today’s competitive world, so business owners need new strategies and new thinking to take their business to the next level.

Bruce Stuart (President, Channelcorp) spoke at the Avaya Conference on the topic of deciding to make a transition to growth. As companies move into new markets and technologies, the investment to generate incremental revenue goes up, and business leaders must determine how to finance such an investment. 

Stuart next laid out a four-step plan to transition into growth mode. Companies deciding to grow must master each of the four strategies – learning to walk before learning to run.

  • Retention: Serving existing clients within existing accounts. This is a survival strategy – the status quo.
  • Penetration: Uncovering new clients within existing accounts. This strategy requires a fairly sophisticated marketing treatment, segmenting existing accounts into discrete markets.
  • Segmentation: Developing a company’s ability to address new accounts in new segments of the markets they already serve. You must have the capability to address strategies #1 and #2 in order to execute this strategy.
  • Diversification: Learning to move into new markets to discover new clients.

In closing, Stuart observed that there is no free lunch and growth requires strategic investment and the ability to be focused, be clear, be solvent, and finally, be profitable.

From Avatel’s perspective, we feel that everyone is sitting on the sideline waiting to see what will drive economic growth during the recovery. This has created an “expectations gap” that has prompted many businesses to delay growth efforts until the recovery gets stronger. The disconnect is not that businesses haven’t recovered. They have. Profits are up. The problem is that they’re not taking the next step. The economy can’t recover until the economy recovers, and to recover, it needs businesses to act like it’s recovered.

Instead of waiting on the sidelines, we should look for ways to protect our businesses from the inflation that will be coming later. So, we should take advantage of what are likely to be the lowest interest rates we’re going to see for a very long time, and purchase inflation-adjusted assets.

Old ways of doing business must be challenged, and businesses that wait too long will be left behind when the new economy emerges. The return to a rapid market growth may be slow. However, with a strategic focus on current markets, understanding emerging opportunities and a commitment to cultivating long-term customers today, Businesses can position themselves as leaders of tomorrow.

Jamie Wood, Avatel EVP


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