Avaya is making a small, but significant adjustment to its executive reporting structure that will likely mean greater visibility for Americas-based Avaya partners going forward.
Karl Soderlund, vice president of channel sales, Americas, now reports directly to Tom Mitchell, Avaya's senior vice president and president, Go-To-Market. What that means is that Soderlund has a direct line into Avaya's executive committee, which is headed by Avaya CEO Kevin Kennedy and includes Mitchell.
"The activities and the heartbeat of the partners will be right here in front of the executive committee," Mitchell told CRN during Avaya's Americas Executive Partner Forum in Cancun, Mexico, last week. "We see it as a statement of commitment. Find me another company of our level where a North America channel head reports to an officer of the company."
The move was announced internally at Avaya this week.
Soderlund previously reported to John DiLullo, Avaya vice president of Americas sales, who reports to Joel Hackney, senior vice president and president, global sales, marketing and field operations. Soderlund joined Avaya in October 2011 following well-regarded channel chief stints at Extreme Networks, Fortinet, HP's former ProCurve business and Certeon.
Partners have praised Mitchell and Soderlund for the work they've done to streamline and re-focus Avaya's channel program, despite its ongoing challenges and frequent changes.
"One of the big changes is that the channel's organization has been well-integrated into the direct sales force," Mike Ferney, vice president of merchandising for ScanSource's Catalyst Telecom business, told CRN. "Karl's been adamant about making sure his people are aligned with John DiLullo's people. In any channel structure, there's usually a big opportunity for friction, but those guys have done a good job of marrying those sales forces and starting in on demand generation."
PUBLISHED NOV. 19, 2012