Lawford to leave Bell to join expansive Avaya

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Lawford to leave Bell to join expansive Avaya

Paul Kunert

Avaya's head of worldwide channels is working on a global partner programme that is designed to make the company easier to do business with as he plans to hike the level of sales, particularly services, that are transacted through resellers.

Helping Jeremy Butt, Avaya's first global channel chief to make changes to grow the business, Jan Lawford, Bell Microproducts European commercial director will be joining the vendor as senior director of channel EMEA on 1 March.

Butt - who joined Avaya six months ago - told MicroScope that partners accounted for around 75% of product sales and 22% of services, however the long term plan was to increase both figures to 85% within a three to four year timeframe.

"We need to be easier to do business with," Butt said. "In essence it's a programmatic issue because the [partner] programme could have evolved more simply than it has done so we are making some dramatic improvements."

The areas up for review include sales out reporting and partner relationship management tools, marketing funds and the price list. Butt confirmed, "the first global channel programme from Avaya is something I am working on".

With an umbrella channel scheme on the horizon, rationalising the global distribution network must also be on the agenda for Avaya's senior management as Westcon is its only multi-territory partner.

Butt says it is too early to say what may or may not happen: "At this moment we are not rushing to make coverage changes," he added.

When Lawford joins Avaya her focus will be on product-based dealers in EMEA, this should free up current incumbent Mark Mitchell to look after the services partners, whereas previously he had responsibility for both.

Lawford, who spent a year and a half at Bell, said she was looking forward to a new challenge and the communications space was an interesting one.

Earlier this month, Thomas Veit joined Avaya to head up distribution across EMEA.

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