Extreme Adds Catalyst Telecom As Distributor To Boost Avaya Partnership

Catalyst Telecom, which already distributes Avaya's IP communications products, has added Extreme's lineup of switches and management software to its converged communications portfolio.

Extreme and Avaya six months ago formed a multimillion-dollar pact through which Avaya's direct- and indirect-sales channels resell Extreme's networking products in conjunction with Avaya's IP telephony and converged communications solutions.

Santa Clara, Calif.-based Extreme has been working with Catalyst Telecom under an interim agreement and has already signed on 50 of the distributor's solution provider partners, said Gordon Stitt, president and CEO of Extreme, during a media event at the Networld Interop conference in Las Vegas.

The company is also working with Voda One, another Avaya distribution partner, under an interim agreement, Stitt said.

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Both companies have been working to educate Avaya channel partners on Extreme's product portfolio to help them build converged communications solutions that incorporate technology from both vendors, Stitt said.

"There's been a lot of training involved," Stitt said.

In addition to training channel partners, Avaya has also trained its direct-sales force, including more than 100 sales engineers, as well as "tens" of service specialists withn its professional services business, said Micky Tsui, vice president and general manager of the communications systems division at Avaya, Basking Ridge, N.J.

Both executives characterized the alliance as a serious partnership that is already netting results.

The companies have already jointly closed several deals, including KeyPoint Credit Union, a financial institution in Santa Clara, Calif.