Updated: Avaya culls Avnet and Ingram from distributor list

Updated: Avaya culls Avnet and Ingram from distributor list

Unified communications vendor retains Distribution Central, Westcon Group and VExpress

Avaya has slashed its Australian and New Zealand distribution line-up from five to three following a review of its Avaya and Nortel channel partnerships.

Distribution Central and Westcon Group have been retained to carry the integrated Avaya and Nortel product set. ARN understands former Avaya distributor, Avnet, and former Nortel distributor, Ingram Micro, have been culled from the list. Niche player, VExpress, is believed to have secured distribution status for Avaya’s SMB product offering.

Ingram inked a distribution deal with Nortel in April last year, while Avnet landed the Avaya account after acquiring ChannelWorx in 2007.

A close source to the company said partners and distributors are now being notified of the changes and a transition period is expected to be in place.

In a statement, Avnet managing director, Gavin Lawless, expressed his disappointment with the decision to end its two-year relationship.

"From time to time, vendors need to make decisions about their channel strategy, in particular in the current environment where we are seeing a lot of acquisitions and vendor alliances," he stated. "In these situations there will always be distributors and partners who receive disappointing news. We have had an two-year relationship with the local Avaya team after we acquired Channelworx, and in that time we have enjoyed much success. We wish Avaya every success with their new go-to-market model."

Lawless also flagged two new unified communications vendors would be brought on by Avnet shortly.

Distribution Central sales and marketing director, Nick Verykios, was pleased to be retained and was preparing to cater for expanding Avaya/Nortel product portfolio. Last February, Distribution Central set-up a new business unit, Unity Systems, to focus on unified communication solutions including Avaya’s entire product portfolio.

“It is business as usual with the Avaya range,” Verykios said. “Our engineers and sales people have become very familiar with current Nortel products that have been phased into Avaya.”

Westcon Group Asia-Pacific vice-president, Wendy O’Keeffe, was also delighted by the distributor’s appointment as a fully-fledged Avaya distributor across A/NZ. She also confirmed Westcon’s ongoing relationship with the vendor in five countries in Asia and said the pair launched Avaya in Indonesia in February.

Westcon was previously a Nortel distributor locally and regionally and held an exclusive agreement in New Zealand, but maintains distribution agreements with Avaya in the UK, US and Europe. Although existing global relationships were not part of the A/NZ distribution criteria, O’Keeffe said it added weight to the long-term partnership.

Westcon will now look to quickly ramp up its Avaya skills base by seconding UK-based Avaya resources into the A/NZ and regional teams. O’Keeffe praised the professionalism of Avaya’s integration Nortel’s channel and the distributor review process over the past five months.

“Avaya took a very professional approach – everyone knew what was happening, and we had to pitch for it,” she said. “I’m sure it was a difficult decision to make, but they’ve made the right one.

“We are fortunate and very happy about the relationship.”

ARN had placed requests for comment on the distribution changes from Avaya, Ingram and Avnet at time of publication.

Avaya acquired Nortel for $475 million in July and officially closed the deal in December. The vendor unveiled itsintegrated channel strategy in January.

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Tags Ingram MicroAvnetWestcon GroupAvayanorteldistribution centralunity systemsVExpress

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