Edison Peres Leaves Channel Post at Avaya

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After building Avaya's domestic channel from the ground up, Edison Peres has decided to leave the networking company.

Peres' job as vice president of partner sales for North America will be filled by Jan Burton. Burton has worked with Peres for several years as a national sales vice president. She will report to David Johnson, senior vice president for sales and marketing at theBasking Ridge, N.J.-based compan, according to an Avaya official.

Reached by telephone at home, Peres, 43, says it was his choice to leave and "explore other options."

"You don't leave easily, but I felt it was time for me to look at other options," he says.

Peres had worked for AT&T and Lucent for about 11 years. For the last four years he has been a vice president of partner sales for Avaya, which spun off from Lucent in October of 2000.

Like other networking and telecommunications companies, Avaya has suffered from a drop off in sales. Recently, the company warned it will post a fiscal first-quarter loss, falling far short of Wall Street expectations.

Peres says his departure had nothing to do with restructuring at the company.

He says his challenge during his tenure was to build up Avaya's brand name, set up the infrastructure for Avaya's own channel and then expand the channel.

In the last four years, the amount of business generated by the channel has gone from 8 percent to 45 percent, Peres says. More than 1,300 resellers are part of Avaya's channel.

"When I stared, we expanded the channel but we tried to do it in a quality way without over distributing,' he said.

Under his watch, he said, the number of employees supporting Avaya's channel grew from 30 to about 300.

Burton was attending a sales meeting and unavailable for comment.

Peres said Burton's biggest challenge will be boosting channel sales of Avaya's equipment for converged voice and data networks.

One reseller, Mark Ritchie, president of Prime Business Systems in San Diego, gave Peres high marks.

"I think the channel does a pretty good job and most of the credit would have to go to him," Ritchie says.

Peres set up a program that cut down on conflict between the direct and indirect partners, he says.

"They were innovative at encouraging partnerships between the direct and indirect [resellers," Ritchie says.

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