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Avant Expanding in U.K., Canada

Expansion

**Editor’s Note: Click here for our image-gallery tour of Avant’s Chicago headquarters.**

Avant Communications is building a presence outside of the U.S.

The Chicago-based master agent/distributor is increasing its resources in the U.K. and Canadian markets. The company says it drove $6 million in channel sales in the U.K. in 2017 and plans to expand its business there. Avant now has an official channel program in Canada and has signed 12 technology partners.

Avant currently supports Canadian partners from its Chicago headquarters but plans to open offices in Canada in the upcoming years. It already has a U.K. office.

Avant's Shane McNamara

Avant’s Shane McNamara

“While the U.S. is the most mature in this space, the U.K. and Canada are experiencing the exact same thing. Avant recognizing that early on is why we’re going so aggressively after this market,” said Shane McNamara, Avant’s executive vice president of West channel sales.

Avant also is planning to add new BattleLabs, which partners use for training and sales enablement. New BattleLab locations will go up in Atlanta and Dallas and in a yet-to-be-announced Northeast location. The Chicago-based BattleLab was created in 2016 and contains UCaaS and contact-center-as-a-service (CCaS) labs where partners can demonstrate different solutions for their partners.

McNamara tells Channel Partners that the BattleLab gives partners credibility in the eyes of their customers.

“We built these BattleLabs for our partners and for our partners to utilize with their customers,” he said. “That’s always our mantra: ‘How do we enable our partners to look different in front of their customers and provide the most amount of value to their customers.’ The BattleLab does that.”

Jennifer Gallego, executive vice president of channel Sales for Avant’s west and international channel, says Avant has “no borders” for how far its sales enablement will expand.

“Avant’s expansion into Canada and continued growth in the U.K. reflects a tipping point in channel sales momentum in these countries. We are seeing more demand for trusted advisers to assist customers in light of the accelerating pace of change and shortage of IT talent,” Gallego said.

CDW has been a key partner for the distributor in the two new geographical markets. Joe Berwitz, CDW’s head of cloud-services sales, credits Avant sales enablement tools like the BattleLab for helping CDW “grow new initiatives.”

“The ever-increasing complexity surrounding technology service providers in both the U.K., Canada, and generally on a global scale, means the tools that Avant provides enables CDW to assist our customers in choosing the correct solutions and services to match their requirements,” Berwitz said.

Read about Avant’s latest channel hire and what the company is doing in the area of SD-WAN.

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