Avaya Supports A Cooperative Channel Strategy

In most modern theories of business, competition is seen as one of the key forces that keep firms lean and drives innovation. However, some people see business entirely as competition. They think doing business is waging war and assume they can’t win unless somebody else loses. The traditional business model pits company against company in a highly competitive contest for customers and market share.

In reality, business is both cooperation and competition. Competitive businesses that also cooperate are said to be in co-opetition. Co-opetition, which might also be called strategic partnering, offers the opportunity for competing companies to create win-win scenarios that increase survival, profitability, and competitive edge.

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As an Avaya Channel Partner, Avatel is very aware that the Telecommunications industry is very competitive; however in a channel sales environment we should really be more cooperative than competitive within our own channel. A good channel strategy is when channel partners spend more time fighting the real competition than they do fighting each other.  The latter case will only produce dissatisfaction with customers and channel partners.  And, ultimately it leads to pricing/margin erosion and share erosion.

To a certain extent, channel conflict is unavoidable when there’s more than one sales force marketing a product. But it can (and should) be mitigated as much as possible. Channel conflict costs partners profitability as they undercut one another on price. It can also reduce morale within the channel. There will always be some overlap in channels, but this should be minimized and managed effectively.

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Some companies in our industry try to stifle peer-to-peer communication, but Avaya embraces it. Avaya understands that a cooperative channel strategy produces more informed, more effective, and more brand-loyal channel partners. As the level of information shared by many people increases, so does ROI. I believe this level of cooperation and collaboration is unprecedented in our industry. Progressive manufacturers like Avaya achieve significant market share and greater customer satisfaction as a result of these cooperative efforts.

I think we are all aware that the collaborative power of the many trumps the efforts of one, as illustrated by the Avaya corporate branding initiative – “The Power of We”. Collaboration is the process by which individuals work together in an organized fashion to share ideas and solve problems.

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Being a member of the Avaya Partner Advisory Council has been great privilege for Avatel. We appreciate the opportunity to be an advocate for Avaya’s channel partner community and to help shape Avaya’s channel strategy. By sharing experiences and leading with one voice we aim to gain product and service improvements for our customers. Jointly we define our go-to-market strategy, and over time we have established an ecosystem that benefits all Avaya partners. We all believe that future capacity for change will come through a collective intelligence.

At Avatel, we believe in cooperative teams and partnerships within the Avaya Channel Partner community. Not only can two companies interact within a co-opetitive environment, but several partnerships are possible. The combined strengths of Avaya and partners like Avatel produce greater value for our mutual customers. Avaya enables partners like Avatel to capture “The Power of We”, to drive creativity, generate ideas and accelerate smarter decisions.

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As a nationwide Avaya Partner, Avatel teams with other Avaya Partners across the country for service and support. We have long term relationships with like-minded Avaya partners that share strong ethical principles and the same standards that we have in customer service and customer satisfaction.

There is no substitute for experience, and with almost 20 years in the business we have developed long term relationships with the best of the best out there. Channel partner-to- Channel partner collaboration streamlines service and support, and provides a means to broaden market opportunities and create competitive differentiation. It allows channel partners to work with and collaborate with other partners that offer a complementary blend of technology, services and industry expertise.

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We believe that a cooperative strategy allows partners to mesh their complementary strengths and provide a single seamless solution to customers. Avaya Channel Partners who collaborate with each other have grown deeper customer relationships and delivered more value to customers.

Avaya Channel Partners like Avatel get it. We understand that combining forces with complementary partners makes us all successful. Through cooperation and collaboration, we have embraced the philosophy of strategic alliances and the result is improvement in quality, productivity and profitability.

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As a long term member of the Avaya Partner Advisory Council, we are continuously helping each other rather than competing w/ each other, and the types of friendships that are formed here are deep and lasting. Rather than the “every man for himself” environment, we work in a “one for all and all for one” environment, being of service to each other and supporting each other. Having experienced both myself, I’d choose the co-operative model over the competitive one any day… it’s really a lot more fun.

Jamie Wood, Avatel EVP

 

 

 

 

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1 Comment

  1. As a new partner, I can say it’s difficult for those partners at the bottom of the channel to compete with platinum partners that seem to have no allegiance to the Avaya brand. They’re not interested in promoting an Avaya solution unless they’re certain that there’s no alternative. It’s frustrating to compete against these so-called Business Partners and lose knowing they’re just as willing to selling a competing product. My company’s core focus is Avaya. We’re a small engineering boutique. Your article was a refreshing read and I applaud your perspective and wish Avatel continued success.

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