Avaya Canada’s new channel chief has three goals

Avaya recently celebrated its 10th anniversary in Canada. As the subsidiary looks ahead it’s trying to shed its old image of a direct only manufacturer. The Nortel acquisition and the hiring of Ross Pellizzari as president are just two steps in transforming the fledgling Avaya into a company to be reckoned with in Canada.

Pellizzari’s belief is that the channel is crucial to success in the high tech industry in Canada because the country is a large geography that requires distribution, system integrators, telcos and many resellers to get to the market. To manage and grow this base he has hired former Symantec Canada’s sales director for enterprise accounts Renzo Dipasquale. “Renzo is the key face for Avaya’s channel in Canada,” he said.

Dipasquale spent the last 12 years of his 20 year career with ONX as its vice president of sales, Hummingbird Ltd. as a country manager and as part of Symantec Canada’s channel team. He essentially replaces Mary Whittle, who was promoted to a global role at Avaya. Pellizzari added that Renzo’s role will be broader and that he wants him to take a macro approach to the market. “We have three large opportunities in the east, central and the west and I want him to take a top down national look in all the geographic areas and find all the idiosyncrasies to help us and our channel partners be more successful,” he said.

Dipasquale told CDN that he has three main goals for Avaya’s channel: analyze the partner ecosystem; get products out to the channel quicker and to leverage the large installed base for partners.

What Pellizzari liked about Dipasquale was that he is a “professional leader” and that he too wishes to be clear and transparent with staff and channel partners. “Renzo is a professional leader and he brings strategic thinking to Avaya from his time working with a manufacturer like Symantec and a big partner such as ONX; he looking for the right angles and he is a good listener,” he said.

Dipasquale is currently reviewing Avaya’s channel capacity to see where the subsidiary has gaps and to form the right coverage model for the company. He added that he wants to develop a review process and timeline structure to will bring new products and services to the channel that will fit into their plans. And, attracting new partners will also be part of the plans as he expects to grow the business substantially.

“Our partner matrix and coverage varies with heritage products, Nortel products and I have to make sure the channel is cross trained and has a common road map. I want to make that align and it’s an ongoing process,” Dipasquale said.

The aim for Avaya Canada will be named accounts, public sector and in small to mid-size businesses.

Partner margins are always an issue for channel chiefs and Dipasquale isn’t any different. But, will be putting the emphasis on deal registration along with some partner mapping and again leveraging the large installed base to boost margins for partners. “If you add value then you are in a good position for us and we’ll invest in you for those who do video, collaboration and data solutions. We see growth in those areas and we are offering increased margins in those areas,” Dipasquale said.

Avaya’s channel team may have a leader, but it’s still incomplete. Both Pellizzari and Dipasquale are looking to hire or promote someone internally to handle the key role in system integrator and VAR business.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Paolo Del Nibletto
Paolo Del Nibletto
Former editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.

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