Our Visit to Avant’s Chicago HQ

Chicago News Building Riverside Plaza

Avant Communications is recognized as one of the fastest growing and most innovative master agent/distributor/sales enablement partners in the channel. The company has managed to make its mark on the industry in a comparatively short time, and 18 months ago opened its offices on the 24th floor of the historic Chicago Daily News building.

Located along the Chicago river and with train tracks running below, it used to be the ideal distribution point for one of Chicago’s largest newspapers. Now the train tracks bring suburban commuters into the city’s heart.

While the building itself is a prime example of Art Deco architecture, built at the end of the Great Depression, Avant’s offices are decidedly more Avant Garde (see what we did there?)

Click through our gallery below for a peek inside (and out).

Avant HQ Entrance

That round trophy proudly displayed on the left? Avant’s Channel Partners Circle of Excellence award. Think they put it out just for our visit? Could be!
Datapipe's Robb Allen

Translucent glass is a big part of Avant’s design. The nature of the glass is to change colors as you pass by and can project high-definition images. The effect is somewhere between interesting and jarring, but certainly memorable.
Rooftop view at Avant HQ

Two rooftop decks sit at the north and south sides of the Avant office space, and offer plenty of space for company events to spill outside. Well, at least for seven months of the year.
Avant HQ Hallway
Pump You Up

Avant’s is the topmost tenant space in the building; however, just upstairs is a well-equipped gym for some built-in corporate wellness maintenance.
Hallway at Avant HQ

On the left along the main hallway is Avant’s partner area. On the right is the vaunted BattleLab.
Avant BattleLab

The Avant BattleLab by day as demonstrated by founder Ian Kieninger. Impressive and something off the set of the latest Star Trek series, but it gets better.
Blue color in the BattleLab at Avant HQ
Feeling Blue

Bring down the motorized shades, and automated lighting can be set to match of the logo colors of any client. Take that, J.J. Abrams!
Avant BattleLab at HQ
Partner Demos

Avant’s lab is all about demonstrating the capabilities of the systems it helps partners sell. Kieninger demonstrated a few for us.
Cisco Telepresence at Avant HQ
Cisco Telepresence

On the high end of Avant’s communication demonstration systems is a Cisco Telepresence system. Just start talking and the camera finds the speaker.
English Telephone Booth at Avant HQ

What’s a breakroom without an English telephone booth? There’s no TARDIS inside, but there is beer tap! Use of which is demonstrated here by Brian Snortheim, Channel Partners’ VP of sales.
Private rooftop deck at Avant HQ
The North Face

Avant’s north-facing rooftop deck is private to the company. On a clear day, you can see Chicago’s western suburbs.

Ian Kieninger and Rick Reed at Avant HQ
Kieninger and Reed

Keininger shows off the rare outdoor space to Rick Reed, senior VP of sales, Informa (Channel Partners' parent company).
Team workspace at Avant HQ

The team workspace at Avant is open and comfortable.
Toy gun at Avant HQ
Good Times

But make no mistake, the Avant team is serious when it comes time to do battle.

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