Avaya-Nortel channel set for March debut


Avaya-Nortel channel set for March debut

Alex Scroxton

Avaya's UK managing director has said that the vendor still plans to begin inducting Nortel resellers in the UK into its new Connect partner programme in March, earlier than previously stated, adding that "a good number of partners are already well down the Avaya certification track".

On Tuesday afternoon, Avaya unveiled its post-Nortel technology roadmap, announcing the integration of key parts of the Nortel enterprise portfolio into its own line-up, and said that worldwide it was seeing healthy numbers of resellers signing up for its training programmes.

Speaking to MicroScope, Lee Shorten moved to quash the idea that the integration would lead to bad feeling between the two sets of partners,saying that there had been minimal overlap between them, with resellers tending to break for one vendor or the other.

"We've been courting the Nortel resellers for the last 12 months and got to know most of them quite well," said Shorten.

The two firms have also been mapping overlap within their customer base, but have found that the vast majority of customers dealing with both Avaya and Nortel were not overlapping in terms of product.

Having said yesterday that it would continue selling Nortel's data portfolio, Avaya has also pledged to respect customers taking data product from allied data vendors - Avaya is notably a member of HP ProCurve's OpenNetwork Ecosystem partnership - and not attempt to use Nortel to take business away from those firms.

Shorten admitted that there had been some difficult internal decisions on the future of the various channel-facing sales teams.

Although Avaya has not disclosed how many of Nortel's UK staff were offered positions with Avaya in the end, it is known that there have been a few lay-offs as a result of the acquisition.

"Nortel lost a lot of people while in administration, more than we thought," said Shorten. "But then we lost people too, so we are all but right-sized from a sales point of view, in fact the right-sizing took care of itself to some extent."

"Our immediate priority is to drive revenues back up so that we can start recruiting again," he added.

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