Research from Avaya, a global leader in enterprise communications systems, software and services, suggests that nearly 43% of channel partners across EMEA expect Unified Communications (UC) to offer the most opportunity for sales growth in the coming year. 2011 may also be the year that virtualisation starts making a strong play in EMEA businesses, as nearly 15% expect to see sales rise in that area.
The results were announced as part of Avaya’s annual survey of its EMEA-wide partner base. Nearly 500 partners provided responses to key questions on factors necessary for channel expansion and growth. Unsurprisingly, the expectation of a strong return on investment is driving adaptation of these key trends – 56% of those surveyed find total cost of ownership (TCO) to be the most important consideration for customers when making a purchase decision. In addition, over one-quarter (28%) expect that reducing operational expenses will be a key strategy.
Other considerations for customers included resilience (12%), maximising the legacy network (11%), management (11%) and bandwidth needs (10%).
The survey also revealed that the stage is set for growth in 2011 – 84% of those questioned expect sales to increase, even if modestly, by approximately 5 – 10%. However, the channel has not fully recovered from the downturn.
“The last 12 months have brought significant recovery, and our partners are overwhelmingly positive about the year ahead,” said Jeremy Butt, vice-president, Worldwide Channels, Avaya. “Customers will always keep an eye on cost as a general rule, but this can translate to more targeted, effective investment. Our partners understand that solutions such as Avaya Aura and the Avaya Flare Experience can deliver results that not only enhance existing investments but prepare and protect businesses for whatever lies ahead.”
The survey results were announced at Avaya’s Emerging Markets Channel Partner Conference, which took place in Dubai on November 30- December 1, 2010. At the conference, Avaya also announced upgrades to the Avaya Connect Programme, including additional partner support strategies and access to new skills and designation in video and data, as well as certification, training and support across the Avaya portfolio.