Avaya Shakes Up North American Channel Role Again

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print


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Nine months after it appointed a new North American channel chief, Avaya announced yet another new executive would fill that role: Carol Neslund, former channel chief of Seagate's Americas channel. The changes come 90 days after Jeremy Butt was named Avaya's first global channel chief.

Nine months after Avaya appointed a new North American channel chief, Donny Ward, Avaya has announced that he will be replaced by Carol Neslund, former channel chief of Seagate's Americas channel.

The change comes a little more than 90 days since Jeremy Butt was named Avaya's first global channel chief. Previously geographic channel chiefs reported to geographic sales chiefs.

Avaya's new North American channel chief, Neslund, will report to Butt in her new role.
"One of the key imperatives for me is to get out there and spend time with our distributors and business partners," Neslund said. "There are two things I learned at Seagate about conversations with business partners and distributors. One is how they make money doing business with you. The other is how do we help them help their customers be successful in implementing our solutions.

"We focused a lot on the idea of working on the business proposition of helping getting more return on their investment," she says. "And we focused on getting into areas that weren't overcrowded and not oversaturated."

Avaya also recently announced that former SonicWall channel chief John DiLullo has joined Avaya as its new president of the Asia-Pacific region.

Despite the shakeup, Butt says the plan remains the same for Avaya's channel–increase the sales mix from 50 percent coming through the channel to 85 percent coming through the channel over the next few years. He said he plans to start with Avaya's existing partners and only after that's been fully explored will he look to recruit new partners.

Among the changes potentially on the table for Avaya's channel program are the program's tiers, a look at supply chain analytics to ensure proper geographic coverage and an evaluation of whether the certifications the company offers are the right ones.

"Even if you think you've got the best program in the world, you should still go ahead and do a review anyway," Butt said. "Like a basic health check."


Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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