The change more closely aligns two groups that already have been collaborating.

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

March 12, 2024

2 Min Read
Avant Vendors, engineering teams align
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CHANNEL PARTNERS CONFERENCE & EXPO — Avant is bringing its vendor and sales engineering groups into the same team in a move the company expects will enhance its education resources and vendor relationships.

The realignment officially brings together two groups that already saw overlap in their day-to-day work engaging with the tech service distributor's vendor partners, according to executive vice president of engineering and operations Shane McNamara.

For example, the engineering team helps the vendor vet new suppliers. While the engineering team evaluates the product stack of a prospective vendor, the vendor team evaluates the legal and economic sides of a potential partnership. Moreover, McNamara said bringing the sales engineers closer to the vendors will improve the education they can produce for Avant's technology advisor partners.

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Working with Avant Vendors

McNamara, who has been overseeing both organizations for the last few years, said putting them together will streamline internal communications between groups that already share a lot of workflow.

"I've been sort of the conduit between the two. It made sense to bring [them] together and remove the middleman (me)," McNamara said. "It becomes a symbiotic alignment that seemed very natural."

Concurrent with the realignment is Niko O'Hara's promotion to head of programs, engineering and vendors. O'Hara, longtime engineering figure at Avant, previously was senior director of engineering. He will function as McNamara's chief of staff in the new role and as an "integrator" for the combined group.

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McNamara said competitors in the tech services distributor (TSD) space tend to keep their vendor and engineering teams separate. He said the Avant vendor community has reacted positively to news of the realignment. That's partly due to how many frequently reach out to Avant to meet with sales engineers. The realignment streamlines that connection.

Avant also announced that it has hired Andy Birch as vice president of customer experience. He comes from Concentrix, where he worked as vice president of product. He also previous directed CCaaS product management for Lifesize.

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About the Author(s)

James Anderson

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Futures. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He writes about SD-WAN, telecom and cablecos, technology services distributors and carriers. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.

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