Changing the Channel: Networking VAR news

Dec 21 2009   5:58PM GMT

Avaya gives up headset sales to OEM’s channel program

Jessica Scarpati Jessica Scarpati Profile: Jessica Scarpati

Unified communications vendor Avaya is relinquishing sales of its Avaya-branded headsets to their original equipment manufacturer, Plantronics, which in turn is funneling it over to its channel partners.

According to Plantronic’s announcement today:

Avaya will transition from delivering Avaya-branded headsets manufactured by Plantronics in February 2010. Customers will then purchase Plantronics-branded headsets designed for Avaya telephony solutions directly from Plantronics’ extensive channel of distributors and business partners. This is a global action; however, Avaya Germany will continue to purchase headsets directly from Plantronics. The transition will simplify purchase processes for customers while maintaining world-class service and support.

While severing one part of the relationship, Plantronics says the two vendors are intertwining in another way:

Plantronics’ broad portfolio of headsets are Avaya-certified and provide immediate connectivity and advanced call control functionality with Avaya’s solutions. Additionally, Plantronics and Avaya will jointly introduce future voice solutions that take advantage of Avaya’s suite of collaboration applications and tools to provide a new level of communication intelligence to customers.

The relationship will focus on the following areas:

• Technology – Tight integration of Avaya product APIs into Plantronics audio solutions. Several new products from Plantronics for Avaya Unified Communications and Avaya Contact Centers will be announced in 2010.
• Marketing – Avaya and Plantronics will collaborate on integrated UC and CC marketing campaigns in 2010 to channel partners and end users.

Is this a losing deal for Avaya VARs who counted on those contact center sales? Share your thoughts.

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