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Channel, Product Integration Details Emerge As Avaya Closes Radvision Acquisition

June 6, 2012 | William Zimmerman
radvision_product_montage.jpgBy Chad Berndston, CRN

When Avaya first announced its acquisition of Radvision back in March, one of the big concerns expressed by Avaya and Radvision partners was that Avaya needed to enable video partners as quickly as possible but avoid opening the floodgates for Radvision's video products to UC and telephony partners not much familiar with how to sell them.

Partners shouldn't be worried, said Hugh McCullen, Avaya senior director for business development and strategic alliances. In an interview with CRN Tuesday following an announcement that the Avaya-Radvision acquisition had closed, McCullen said Avaya will be deliberate in how it certifies partners to sell video, and it will also preserve Radvision's current system for certifying partners on Radvision video products.

"Avaya partners will be able to sell the Radvision product, but they'll have to be certified and meet the eye-to-eye partner standards that Radvision already has," McCullen said. "We're going to drive a delicate balance to make sure there is partner parity. We want to have the right partners. We don't want partners selling video who don't understand video."

About 300 Avaya partners are certified to sell Avaya video products and services, McCullen said, and those partners can be fast-tracked toward certification on the Radvision portfolio. Avaya has already begun contacting its global partners to encourage them to look at the Radvision wares, he explained.

In addition, Radvision partners that aren't already Avaya partners will be given the opportunity to expand their Avaya expertise into UC, CC and data if they so choose, but Avaya will not force them to do that if they want to remain Radvision video-only, McCullen explained.

"Most of them are not involved in telephony at all, and that's not an issue for us," he said. "It's an opportunity."

Avaya provided several details on how the Radvision portfolio and channel programs will be integrated into Avaya's own, now that the roughly $230 million acquisition is finished. For starters, Radvision will operate as an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Avaya and be officially titled Radvision, an Avaya company.

According to McCullen, Radvision will be considered Avaya's fourth major business unit, alongside its voice/UC business, data networking business and contact center business.

It was important to leave Radvision as a subsidiary, McCullen said, to preserve Radvision's existing R&D and go-to-market processes without interruption. That said, Avaya and Radvision will have common sales and engineering teams to assist with things like product integration between Avaya UC platforms and Radvision video.

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