Avaya Canada’s new channel chief places focus on mid-market


Miles Davis, Avaya Canada’s new Channel Chief

Avaya Canada has a new channel chief in Canada, as part of a global restructuring of how Avaya conducts its go-to-market strategy. Miles Davis, who was the director of independent channels for Canada, has been promoted to Renzo DiPasquale’s old role. DiPasquale, in turn has been promoted to lead the enterprise group in Canada.


“We’ve moved Renzo into looking after our top tier of national accounts, moving someone who understands the channel to build strategies for that tier of customer,” Davis said. The personnel changes took effect October 1. They are part of a new strategy implemented by new global channel chief Richard Steranka to provide better alignment with segment selling motions. In each market, a global accounts manager has been appointed to work with partners in selling to Avaya’s enterprise customers. Davis, who reported to DiPasquale in his old role, now reports directly to Steranka, something he said gives the Canadian channel more visibility than was the case in the old structure. The other two divisions remain headed by David Crook, Vice President of Commercial Sales, and Petrina Wong, Director of SMB Channels.


Davis is an Australian who joined Nortel, came to Canada to work for Nortel in 2005, and moved to Avaya when it acquired Nortel. Along the way he acquired a Canadian wife. He has not, however, lost the Aussie accent, raising the question of whether or not some of the American and Latin American partners at the Avaya Executive Partner Forum, where Davis presented the awards onstage to Canadian winners, thought they were listening to a Canadian accent.


Davis identified the midmarket as the top priority for the year ahead.


“There’s a massive opportunity around the midmarket in Canada, and we are restructuring our go-to-market around it,” Davis said. “We have the product to do it, as well as supporting products around IP Office to make it a great event for Canada.”


The recently announced IP Office 9.0, which doubles capacity from 1,000 to 2,000 and enables it for virtualization, is the key here.


“I think IP Office 9 is the game changer for the Canadian market,” Davis said.


Avaya is also increasing its emphasis on partners adding additional services and offerings around the core platforms.


“Partners who have been adding networking, SBCs, wrapping Avaya professional services around their contact center work, these are the partners we saw strongest growth from in 2013,” Davis said.


“Getting more partners to add those services around the platform is certainly a work in progress, but we started making good traction there 6-7 months ago,” Davis said. “Many partners are now selling two product lines. The list of partners who do that is very long. What we are now starting to see is third lines, particularly with video since the Radvision acquisition, because adding video is very powerful. Our incentives and programs are designed to extend partner capabilities into those third and fourth segments.”


Davis said video is off to a good start in Canada, but there is plenty of room to grow.


“The pace hasn’t been an explosion overnight, but we never expected it to be,” he said. “The idea is to  build video as part of a UC play. It has had an impact in a number of areas. We brought in five AV partners that we wouldn’t have had a conversation with in the past. They were not Radvision partners but ones who were with the competition. We have also seen success in higher education with video.”


Avaya’s cloud offerings are still a work in progress


“Our cloud in Canada is still fairly small, but we are building out cloud presence with a model,” Davis said. “We offer Pod architecture, where we combine a UC solution with everything you need for a multi- tenant solution,  and AOS, (Avaya Operated Services) where we take much more of a stake in the game, often owning equipment outright.” By early next year, we will be look at a model with IP Office attached to it.” AOS is also expected to be given a new brand.


Partners can expect to see two things from Avaya in the new year. One is the Avaya Evolutions event that is being launched in Toronto in January, and Montreal in February, The other is the One Source consolidated quoting tool, which will be available in Canada in January.


“It’s already in other areas,” Davis said. “With separate pricing structures for Avaya and Nortel, in the past, that has meant double the work for the partner community. That changes in January.”


Second is the Evolutions show that is being launched in Toronto in January and February in Montreal.


Davis said it all adds up to a strong year upcoming for Avaya.


“We have new leadership that will bring a lot of energy, with a real focus on execution,” he said.

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