Avaya UK boss to take channel back to basics

Avaya's new UK and Ireland managing director Andrew Sheppard, who was named as Lee Shorten's replacement during the summer.

Avaya's new UK and Ireland managing director Andrew Sheppard, who was named as Lee Shorten's replacement during the summer, has said he will adopt a "back to basics" approach in his dealings with the channel that will see the comms vendor emphasise both operational efficiency and costs savings in its sales approach.

"The economic situation demands more justification and a more robust business case to support technology deployments," he said. "There is absolutely a case for net new deployments but thse opportunities are uncovered through concentrating on the basics."

Sheppard told MicroScope he would be looking to help Avaya's UK channel get a better line of sight into its internal development and priorities, as well as understanding what it can do better.

SIP trunking technologies will be a particular area of focus, Sheppard said, with Avaya currently seeing an increased number of pilots and projects taking shape around the technology.

In his first official interview since taking the role, ex-C2000 heavyweight Sheppard said he was starting his time at Avaya with a clean slate and wanted to consign its chequered channel history to the dustbin.

"I have a chance to craft things without that legacy," he said. "I can't look back on that because I wasn't here."

Similarly, Sheppard declined to discuss specifics between the recent split between Avaya and his former employer Azlan, but said the current roster of Avnet, Westcon and ScanSource was "strong" and said there were no plans to further expand or consolidate the line-up.

Azlan, which came on board following the acquisition of Nortel and had poured substantial resources into building up its Avaya business and winning over the channel, is the second distributor to have parted ways with the vendor in the space of a year, after Nimans got the chop for apparently not doing enough business outside the UK.

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I'm sure that <a href="http://www.sabio.co.uk/support/avaya-support.html">Avaya Support UK</a> will stay in the industry for a long time. There's just too many companies that rely on them to get things done.