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Avaya Brings Back IBM, AT&T Vet to Drive Services Adoption

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**Editor’s Note: Click here to see which channel people were on the move in March.**

Avaya has appointed Ed Nalbandian, who is returning to the company after serving as CEO of Strategic Products and Services (SPS), as president of Avaya services.

Nalbandian will drive a customer-centric strategy for growth across all of Avaya’s global services. He brings more than 30 years of services experience and a focus on building long-term relationships with customers and partners. SPS is an Avaya business partner that ConvergeOne recently acquired..

Avaya's Ed Nalbandian

Avaya’s Ed Nalbandian

Nalbandian tells Channel Partners that Avaya’s overall success is “deeply tied” to the success of its partners, and the same applies to services.

“We rely on our channel partners to sell Avaya services to our mutual customers — for some, it’s a ‘soup to nuts’ Avaya services delivery model, and for others it is a more specific level of support,” he said. “We also look to channel partners to wrap their own value-add services around ours in order to offer unique value propositions to customers. In my short time back, I have already met with a number of our partners and will continue to do so. It is important that we have a reciprocal understanding of our strengths and weaknesses so that we can build on or work through them to bring success for our customers, our partners, and Avaya.”

Avaya’s channel accounts for 70-80 percent of its overall revenue, Nalbandian said.

“That’s a lot of customers, and their satisfaction is paramount,” he said. “Part of my responsibility is to make sure that our channel partners deliver the best possible maintenance, managed and professional services to our mutual customers. We will begin to creatively work together to improve the overall delivery quality our customers expect and deserve. I believe that there are areas around implementation, support, repair, diagnostics, tools and more where we can quickly leverage each other to delight our customers.”

Nalbandian said he has “high expectations” for the standard of care customers receive regardless of who delivers it.

“Therefore, it’s essential that we uncover any issues and obstacles that may be in the way of either partners or Avaya meeting that standard — whether the issues are related to training, access, responsiveness, communication, etc.,” he said. “So the best way to determine these issues is to directly ask partners and listen to what they have to say.”

During his previous six-year stint, Nalbandian led Avaya’s managed services business, which became the foundation for the company’s private-cloud services. Early in his career, he ran managed services at IBM and AT&T. He then served as CEO of AimNet Solutions, which Cognizant Technologies acquired.

“Ed’s return to Avaya sends a clear signal that we are investing in our services capabilities and view services as a growth lever,” said Jim Chirico, Avaya’s president and CEO. “Ed brings the vision, understanding and energy that will drive this business forward and maximize the value we are providing to our global customer base through our services offerings.”

Avaya recently appointed Tara Dunning, formerly BroadSoft’s vice president of global sales operations, to fill the newly created position of chief revenue officer. It also unveiled a new master-agent program focused on accelerating cloud sales to small and midmarket businesses.


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