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Westcon extends master agent relationship with Avaya

Distributor given the opportunity to add more of the comms vendor’s portfolio to the offering it can take out across Europe

Westcon has been given the opportunity to extend its master agent relationship with Avaya after having shown it can deliver the goods in the UK market.

The distributor was signed up as one of the first European master agents for Avaya’s unified communications-as-a-service (UCaaS) offering in partnership with RingCentral last June. Since then, the firm has been operating as a master agent, selling the UCaaS offering in the UK, Ireland, France and the Netherlands.

The vendor has now given Westcon the nod to take that further, with the distributor becoming a master agent for Avaya’s OneCloud contact centre as a service (CCaaS) offering across Europe, after a successful UK pilot.

“Over the past few years, we’ve seen new products, services and disruptive concepts redefine the way we interface and engage with one another,” said Marianne Nickenig, vice-president of network and collaboration for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) at Westcon.

“Transitioning contact centres to the cloud is becoming a key priority for a growing number of businesses, and those opting for a CCaaS solution are able to gain numerous benefits relating to cost, convenience and, more importantly, customer satisfaction.”

Avaya indicated that it was using the master agent approach in the UK last February at its Avaya Engage event, which it hoped would be an entry point for volume partners. The approach has since become more widespread in the UK channel, particularly around comms solutions, and Nickenig said there were positives to the approach.

“The master agent channel model allows us to get as close to the customer as possible, therefore ensuring continuity of service and an improved customer experience”
Marianne Nickenig, Westcon

“Traditional partner programmes often consist of multiple barriers and points of separation between the vendor and the customer. The master agent channel model allows us to minimise these points of separation and get as close to the customer as possible, therefore ensuring continuity of service and an improved customer experience,” she said.

Trevor von Puttkammer, senior director of distribution international (EMEA and Asia-Pacific) at Avaya, said Westcon had earned the right to sell across Europe.

“The ability to deliver expertise and maximum value to customers is a quality we always look for in our partners. We see a great opportunity in teaming up with a leading technology distributor such as Westcon to deliver our CCaaS solutions to the wider European market and we look forward to further establishing our brand and increasing our market share in the region,” he said.

Avaya has been encouraging the channel to get behind its cloud offerings, and that shift towards hosted services has been seen in its results. Speaking to analysts back in February about the first-quarter numbers, Avaya CEO and president Jim Chirico highlighted that revenues from its cloud, alliance partner and subscription growth engines had more than doubled from the same period last year and now accounted for 34% of total revenue.

Those numbers, for the three months ended 31 December 2020, showed a 4% climb in revenues to $743m and gave the firm the confidence to issue a bullish outlook for the second quarter.

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