Avaya drops Catalyst Telecom from Canadian distribution strategy

After conducting an examination of its global distribution strategy following its acquisition and integration of the enterprise business of Nortel Networks, networking vendor Avaya has announced its new Canadian distribution model, and it leaves Catalyst Telecom on the outside.

Before the Nortel acquisition, Avaya was working with Catalyst Telecom and Westcon Group, while Nortel had Ingram Micro and Tech Data. Only Catalyst, which had only begun carrying Avaya in Canada last November, will be dropped from the Canadian roster. Catalyst will continue to distribute Avaya in the U.S.

CDN reported on the coming distribution overhaul in late February. In an interview, Avaya global channel chief Jeremy Butt told CDN he was meeting with all of Avaya’s distribution partners and would be determining what the right model would for the new Avaya, going forward.

“Everyone wants to be relevant. It needs to be a balanced relationship. We’re working to find the right balance and how many distributors we need, and they understand that,” said Butt. “We’re working to find the appropriate model.”

Part of that would involve deciding on what level of support and value-add Avaya wants its disties to provide to their partners. It would certainly be beyond a simple broadline model, said Butt, and would include support and training, but just how far up the value-chain was still undetermined.

“We do have an idea of what we’re looking for,” said Butt.

In a statement provided to CDN following the announcement of the new model, Avaya said after careful study and assessment, it was moving forward with the optimum mix of distribution.

“This mix will provide our partners with streamlined access to the value-add capabilities and tools that these distribution partners can deliver with maximum efficiencies,” said Avaya. “As Avaya continues to invest in the channel, it all comes down to customers and what they want – smart technology, demonstrated value and responsive service from an expert in the marketplace. An effective distribution channel is the key to helping partners to provide that value proposition to customers. This focused strategy in the US and Canada will enable these distributor partners to make appropriate investments for the success of the Avaya channel partners.”

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
A veteran technology and business journalist, Jeff Jedras began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the booming (and later busting) Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal, as well as everything from municipal politics to real estate. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada. He would go on to cover the channel as an assistant editor with CDN. His writing has appeared in the Vancouver Sun, the Ottawa Citizen and a wide range of industry trade publications.

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