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New U.S. Avaya Channel Sales Leader a Verizon, CA Technologies Alum

The new hire, known to the channel, will lead the company's UC channel sales efforts.

Moshe Beauford

January 4, 2024

3 Min Read
Channel sales growth at Avaya
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Chris Dickson, who has been the U.S. head of Avaya channel sales on an interim basis, now has the role full time. The business communications company has formally promoted him to VP of U.S. channels.

His previous role with the company was senior director, heading up Avaya's national partner team.

"It was a great primer for taking on the whole U.S. organization, which I did in December ... " Dickson told Channel Futures.

Turning the leaf on a new year and the chance for a fresh start, Dickson expressed that his focus is on growth — "more partners, selling more Avaya solutions, more frequently," he said.

Highlighting the company's shift toward partner success, Dickson told us that "over the last five quarters, we’ve worked on refining focus, the portfolio, our go-to-market models, and ultimately our routes to customers." 

Now, Dickson accepts that the heavy lifting is behind the company.

"And with support from more than 4,000 partners globally, we are well-positioned to power our joint customer experiences," he told Channel Futures. 

Experience Matters

With years spent working for Avaya in various roles in channel sales, Dickson said that although his role is fresh, the two-and-a-half years spent with the company will only work to his advantage. Dickson was also recently named one of Channel Futures' Top 20 UC/Contact Center Leaders for 2023, a further testament to his dedication to the customer and partner terrain.

Avaya's Chris Dickson

"Avaya’s innovation without disruption strategy has reverberated, as it enables our partners to help our shared customers move to the cloud at the pace right for them," he shared.

This is what he plans to do with partners — take Avaya's "large" install base and support them through their transition to full cloud, full on-premises, or something in the middle. 

Avaya does have one of the largest unified communications install bases in the world, which is why Dickson is betting on success. According to internal Avaya data, over 90% of Fortune 100 companies and some 144 million individuals worldwide rely on Avaya technologies daily. 

"Not leaving our customers behind and meeting them where they are is what partners do every day. Being the supplier that not only supports that, but is building a future based on that message, makes a future for us all to grow," the Avaya executive told us. 

As such, he said that partners remain Avaya's foremost route to market.

AI Will Play a Role in Avaya Channel Sales

With artificial intelligence expected to dominate customer experiencepartners will play a role in that too. Companies such as RingCentral have already started to understand as much. Even Webex has a fair share of AI inserted into its offering.

"AI continues to bring massive innovation into the contact center and customer experience, and Avaya delivers on that AI innovation today. We know this because we have done it for years with partners in the contact center space," said Dickson.

He said this is where partners and customers will benefit most — from a cash infusion in AI.

"By jointly building and selling the most reliable and innovative solutions that drive success within our joint customers," Dickson said, "partners represent to me that last mile of innovation, ingenuity and expertise to help organizations that deliver experiences that matter," he said.

Having emerged from a second Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2023, Dickson says this next year he will emphasize retaining and transitioning Avaya's install base while "jointly uncovering demand and new logos."

He and the rest of the Avaya U.S. sales team hope this effort will pay off and lead to greater dividends.

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About the Author(s)

Moshe Beauford

Contributing Editor, Channel Futures

Moshe has nearly a decade of expertise reporting on enterprise technology. Within that world, he covers breaking news, artificial intelligence, contact center, unified communications, collaboration, cloud adoption (digital transformation), user/customer experience, hardware/software, etc.

As a contributing editor at Channel Futures, Moshe covers unified communications/collaboration from a channel angle. He formerly served as senior editor at GetVoIP News and as a tech reporter at UC/CX Today.

Moshe also has contributed to Unleash, Workspace-Connect, Paste Magazine, Claims Magazine, Property Casualty 360, the Independent, Gizmodo UK, and ‘CBD Intel.’ In addition to reporting, he spends time DJing electronic music and playing the violin. He resides in Mexico.

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