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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.”