Systems integrator Korus has become the first European firm to earn accreditation under networking vendor Avaya's service and support programme.
Avaya has claimed that 30 per cent of its new business over the next 12 to 18 months will require resellers to turn to specialist support service firms such as Korus to offer a single point of contact for customers.
"The complexity of modern products can mean taking up to six months to learn about them," said Dave Payette, Avaya's managing director of channel development for EMEA.
"Few businesses will want to wait six months to see sales, so they need a specialist to support them. Many firms will outsource this function indefinitely."
Avaya employs an agency to assess potential partners across the areas of business performance, technical knowledge and customer support infrastructure.
Partners must complete a three- to six- month accreditation scheme and are then awarded Silver, Gold or Platinum status.
About a dozen European firms are involved in the scheme. Avaya expects to sign up 10 more in the UK, and up to 30 across EMEA. The scheme covers VARs, distributors and service providers.
"We are looking for a select few partners to provide specialist support for our resellers. We don't want to replicate product areas that our traditional partners have well covered," said Payette.
The accreditation will give Korus access to Avaya's APIs, a higher profile among accredited partners and extended staff training. It will also have first-mover advantage in unified messaging, interactive voice response, customer relationship management, voice recognition and computer telephony integration systems.
"VARs can now offer combined systems integration service cheaply," said Stuart Burns, managing director of Korus. "Being first gives us a chance to set benchmarks for delivering to market."
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