Avaya is hoping to boost smaller, technically skilled partners by bringing in a new set of channel programme requirements that reduce VARs' revenue obligations.
The comms vendor is establishing six new Solution Expert certifications, including mid-market and enterprise badges for both unified communications and contact centre technologies, as well as accreditations for video and networking.
Top-level Platinum partners will need to obtain three of the new specialisations, with two required for Gold status, and one for Silver. Below that the vendor will maintain a battalion of Authorised partners. Programme changes will take effect from the start of Avaya's 2015 fiscal year on 1 October.
Under its existing framework, a UK partner needs to transact about $6m (£3.5m) of annual business to maintain top-tier status. In the new system, each Solution Expert gong will have its own sales requirement. Michelle Jones, director of EMEA channel strategy and development at Avaya, claimed the numbers are yet to be finalised, but that it would likely represent "a pretty big drop" in turnover obligations.
"We want to reward partners that can sell across the breadth of the portfolio, but also recognise specialisation," she added. "The customer service piece is also really key."
Once the new rules come into effect, there will be a year's transition period for partners to ensure adherence to the new rules.
"A lot of partners are already expanding their skill set as they want to be able to offer that broader proposition," added Jones.
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