In a move it claims won't cannibalise partners' business, communications vendor Avaya has launched its global services division locally and named HP as the first local customer, in a managed services deal worth $1.8 million over three years.
Avaya will deliver selected elements of the entire Global Services offering via its existing channel. However, 'high level' services beyond the resources of its business partners will be delivered direct to customers.
Peter Thorne, regional director of networking consulting services for Avaya Global Services in the Asia-Pacific, said the new division complemented the company's existing channel strategy.
'Clearly, we can't do everything. We need the business partners to do exactly what they're doing and work with our processes to help them succeed,' he said. 'We're not competing with our business partners. Strategically, it would be a very wrong move to do that because we want them to trust us and skill up.'
Thorne said Global Services offered network consulting, implementation and integration services and managed services as standalone offerings or with Avaya gear. The division would serve customers with PBXs, for example, from many different vendors besides Avaya, he said.
Many corporates moving to converged voice and data networks had made costly mistakes in the actual implementation, he claimed. 'This is about ... doing it right the first time, and reducing their risks and costs,' Thorne said. 'They want to put voice on top of their existing data networks, that generally will work, as long as it is done right.'
He hastened to add that all Avaya's partners had an 'excellent' track record in converged implementations but Avaya wanted to help them grow their converged networking skills and keep that reputations.
Michael Clarkson, a services manager at Avaya Global Services Asia-Pacific, said the vendor would manage telephony faults, maintenance and support around the clock for around 4,000 HP staff at 20 sites in Australia and four in New Zealand.
Previously, HP used an internal Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system managed by four different sub-contractors. Creating a single point of contact was expected to save HP $360,000 a year, he said.
Craig Fitzgerald, voice services manager for HP's administrative division in the Asia-Pacific, said the Avaya deal united communications support for the overarching HP administration in Australia and New Zealand.
'Pre-merger, with HP and Compaq, across two countries meant you had four support processes and pictures and all the frustration that goes along with that,' he said. 'Now you call one number, whether you're in Melbourne or Dunedin.'
Fitzgerald said no jobs had been lost within HP.
The deal could potentially be extended across HP's 50,000-odd endpoints in the Asia-Pacific. 'As a sub-region, we've certainly got people in the rest of HP sitting up, it looks pretty good,' Fitzgerald said.
Craig Neil, MD at contact centre specialist integrator and Avaya partner NSC, said little overlap existed between the Global Services division and Avaya's business via local partners.
'They have these multinational organisations that have existing support and services deals with Avaya, such as EDS and IBM, and we don't actually have any presence doing support that way [with Avaya] at present,' Neil said.
Neil said he welcomed the move, agreeing that it potentially could lift demand for converged networks locally. 'The more it moves into the market, the better it could be,' he said.