Avaya demands that distribution partners invest

Avaya demands that distribution partners invest

Avaya’s revamped Premier and Diamond distributor channel programme puts value before volume

Avaya has refused to rule out recruiting additional distributors in the UK after it announced a shake-up of its distributor channel programme.

The networking vendor currently distributes through Westcon, Nimans and MTV, but despite insisting it was satisfied with its distribution model, it was keen to leave the door open for additions.

“We are reviewing the situation all the time,” John Howard, channel sales director at Avaya, said. “We have enough capacity with our current distributors, but are not ruling out bringing more on board.”

Changes to the programme will come into force in January 2008 and will mean distributors are ranked in two categories - Premier and Diamond - based on the level of expertise and support they offer resellers. To receive Diamond status distributors must provide continued investment in their business in line with growth to support resellers.

Avaya axed its revenue-based partner programme earlier this year, moving to a more value-oriented model to assist the growth of smaller companies. Howard claimed that the restructuring of the distributor programme supports this.

“This is reinforcing our strategy to increase our programmes to deal with value rather than volume,” he explained. “We want distributors to invest more in their business. This investment will filter through to resellers who will have the expertise in place to fully support their clients.

“The programme will mean that if a distributor is not investing in the right areas they will lose their status, so it is in their interests to maintain standards and support. It will create more transparency and give resellers more choice.”

Distributors have dismissed the threat of extra competition in the channel and are confident it will not affect their business.

Jim Robertson, sales manager at MTV, said: “Our business is continuing to grow and we are not worried if extra distributors are taken on. We have a strong relationship with our customers and are confident that this will remain, regardless of who enters the market.”