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Avaya's meeting was not the usual industry meeting, but they did invite a fistful of industry professionals to their Americas Executive Partnership Forum in Cancun, while ShoreTel hosted its yearly industry meeting in Orlando in connection with its industry meeting and for the first consecutive meeting hosted advisors. ShoreTel's theme was that they should target the entire industry with both store offers and space offers.
Avaya's topic was to opt for the middle class. The ShoreTel and Avaya move quickly into each other's room. ShoreTel, which is best known for its midsize business solutions, is growing in the high-end segment and concentrating on large implementations. Avaya, on the other side, which has its strengths in large and very large companies, is now concentrating on medium-sized companies and is heading down.
Avaya's two core product offerings, Avaya Aura (Avaya Aura Communication Manager) and IP Office, have historically focused on two different market segments. As Avaya states, Avaya Aura is targeted at "established companies looking for cost-effective asset consolidations and optimized growth," while IP Office "is targeted at small and medium-sized companies looking for cost-effective and high added value expansion.
" Avaya scaled IP Office from 250 to 1,000 user accounts in the middle of 2012, making it a more compelling proposition for midsize businesses, not just small and midsize businesses. Because Avaya Aura and Communication Manager are relatively sophisticated products, it is not always simple for a partner to resell them to the mid-market, and by extending IP Office to 1,000 endpoints, Avaya's partner has a simpler way to do this.
One spokesman after the other said to the public that they should concentrate on the sale of IP Office to medium-sized companies. Avaya Senior VP & President, Avaya Go-to-Market, Tom Mitchell, Avaya, said to the distributor's audiences that he should "go where the pace of expansion is" and concentrate on major areas of expansion, to include store connectivity, home entertainment (Radvision) and IP Office.
The IP Office recorded a 46% increase over the previous three months and revenue increased by 100% over the previous year. Mr Mitchell said to the parties that the participation in the Mittelstand would allow the parties to expand their businesses. Mr. Mitchell noted that much of Avaya's franchise is built on the company's inheritance franchise, which will challenge our affiliates as much of this franchise is with finance clients and is not a large emerging area.
At the same time, the midmarket and new emerging economies offer greater opportunities, while only 30% of Avaya's current operations offer greater opportunities. Mitchell recommends its partner "to find new clients, not to depend on the slowly expanding base" and to compensate a long company selling circle with medium-sized transaction. Clearly, Avaya follows ShoreTel's nucleus, and Avaya's affiliates must go "from toes toes" with businesses like ShoreTel.
ShoreTel, for its part, targets Avaya (and Cisco) directly, especially if it is moving upward in major implementations. Senior VP Worldwide Sales, David Petts, noted that ShoreTel is receiving much more business from governments and has almost halved the number of large profits from over 1,000 seating units over the past year.
Commenting on the announcement, Don Joos, Senior VP, Business Operations, said that ShoreTel "is strengthening our commitment to the greater end of the product's sweetspot. As ShoreTel is aware, extending its line and switching to the high-end market will not necessarily be straightforward. Pej Roshan, VP of Products Management, said: "The election is the new, ingeniously straightforward [ShoreTel's longstanding slogan], but the election can create complexities.
ShoreTel's challenging task is to make the election easy. "While ShoreTel is still focused on "Brilliant Simplicity," ShoreTel encourages clients to become roguish and "Say no to the current situation, say yes to ShoreTel. "ShoreTel also plays more aggressively with Avaya's strength - the touch centre. ShoreTel Enterprise Sales grew 22% in fiscal year 2012 and ShoreTel found that the Enterprise Sales Force plays a key strategy in making a profit from great business opportunity.
A major difference between the two sessions was the emphasis on the clamp. As Avaya talked about the clamp and its offers, clamp was not the central theme of the meeting. ShoreTel, on the other side, was about the clamp, and Dan Hoffman, President, clamp division, said that by 2015 42% of the store will be harbored.
Mr Hoffman was spending some quality writing about ShoreTel's new affiliate program for clamp service and finding out how ShoreTel affiliates can take part in the sale of ShoreTel Sky, the company's clamp offer. Several meetings have highlighted the importance of the clamp and ShoreTel's strategy in this area with ShoreTel Sky. Most similar to the two shows was the excitement of the channels between them.
My counterparts at both meetings were very satisfied with what they had learnt from the management and senior staff and confident about their continued prosperity. Avaya was a particularly good example of this, where the affiliates were more enthusiastic than I had seen them for years. ShoreTel's partner companies were very enthusiastic about the opportunity to provide a wide range of products to satisfy the needs of their clients - whether they were in the clamp or premises - without having to reject clients looking for a cloud-based approach.