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Avaya leans on disties to speed Nortel integration

Alex Scroxton
Michelle Jones Avaya.JPGAvaya is shoring up its distribution relationships in order to better integrate Nortel's enterprise reseller channel into its own, saying it won't be able to fulfil its aims without their help.

Speaking to MicroScope, Avaya channel marketing lead Michelle Jones ( pictured) said: "Our distributors are the ones that will help handhold Nortel resellers, as we don't have the necessary skills or resources to do that job alone."

The UC vendor moved to reassure partners that the integration of Nortel's channel into its own will go smoothly as it absorbs between 4,000 and 5,000 new partners globally. EMEA and UK specific figures were not available.

The movement of Nortel resellers into Avaya's newly-launched Connect partner programme formally began on 1 March, and according to Patti Moran, Avaya senior director of channel marketing and communications, 90% of targeted Nortel partners are "actively on-boarding" at this point.

"We didn't buy Nortel partners, we bought Nortel's customer base and its IP," Moran said, explaining that resellers were free to take their time and study all of Avaya's Ts&Cs to "make an informed decision" about their next move.

Avaya currently distributes through Avnet, C2000's Azlan unit, Nimans, Scansource and Westcon and is running distributor-led orientation programmes together with its partners.

According to Avaya these programmes and workshops are designed to provide new dealers with partnership fundamentals information and covers Avaya and distributor programmes, tools, processes and resources. Jones said this allowed the vendor to "cascade information on a localised basis".

Recently-appointed Azlan strategic development director Ian French said that from his perspective "the process was going quite well and has been well-planned."

Although NDAs prevent Avaya's distributors from discussing specific elements of the transition process, French added: "We are in the middle of the process ourselves; it is going to be quite a complicated integration process."


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