Avaya: Nortel Partner Integration Ahead of Schedule

Avaya Inc. says it’s ahead of schedule in terms of integrating Nortel Networks partners.

That’s the word from Carol Neslund, Avaya’s channel chief, to Channel Insider. Neslund said the goal was to add 181 Nortel partners in the United States to operations by the end of March – Avaya already has signed 264 partners, Neslund told Channel Insider.

Avaya won bankrupt Nortel’s enterprise unit at auction in September 2009 for $900 million. Once that happened, concerns grew that Avaya might be too small to handle a Nortel takeover. But as the months have passed, Avaya has laid out its roadmap, which includes moving Nortel resellers to the Avaya Connect Program. The intent has been to just have one program, placing Nortel partners into one of four tiers, depending on how much revenue they generate.

Neslund said bringing the Avaya and Nortel channels together has gone well, mostly because there’s little overlap between their customers. Plus, Nortel brings better channel marketing to the table and that has allowed Avaya to expand its efforts there, Neslund told Channel Insider.

“We’re doing everything that we can to limit the amount of channel conflict that there is between the different channel partners and to work with customers on technology decisions,” said Neslund, according to Channel Insider. “It’s been very good.”

In the meantime, Neslund said, Avaya soon will announce changes to how it certifies and the amount it charges partners for certification.

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