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Avaya Chooses Mitel Vet to Lead Channel Sales in North America

Watch for Avaya Cloud Office, which will be a key launch in 2020.

Edward Gately

December 10, 2019

5 Min Read
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Avaya has appointed Jon Brinton, a longtime Mitel exec, as vice president of North America channel sales.

Brinton will be responsible for Avaya’s channel sales strategy, supporting the success of its network of partners, distributors and resellers. He also will build and manage the company’s channel enablement programs.

Brinton spent more than 11 years at Mitel, and prior to that he held key senior management roles for companies in networking and communications. He was president of Mitel’s cloud division from its inception through expansion to a global market share leader in UCaaS.

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Avaya’s Jon Brinton

“Avaya continues to attract remarkably high-caliber talent, with a mandate to transform the company as the partner-of-choice for communications solutions spanning SMB to the enterprise with an emphasis on cloud and new subscription models,” said Frank Ciccone, Avaya’s senior vice president of North America sales. “Our network of channel partners, distributors and resellers is unmatched and vitally important to our growth, and we are excited to have Jon lead our channel team. His track record and leadership experience will be a tremendous asset for Avaya and our partners.”

Most recently, Brinton was senior advisory consultant at Gerson Lehrman Group.

After months of speculation about being acquired, Avaya announced in October that it has instead entered a strategic partnership with RingCentral in which it would introduce a new UCaaS solution — Avaya Cloud Office. Under the agreement, RingCentral will contribute $500 million to the deal and will be Avaya’s exclusive provider of UCaaS solutions.

In a Q&A with Channel Partners, Brinton talks about why he wanted to join Avaya and what partners can expect in the months ahead.

Channel Partners: Why did you want to take this role with Avaya?

Jon Brinton: I was attracted to Avaya because they are at a very exciting inflection point as a company. They have great solutions that serve some of the largest organizations on the planet, and a well-developed channel partner ecosystem. The recent announcements around Avaya Cloud Office really helped to round out a comprehensive portfolio for cloud and onsite solutions, and I am very energized about leading the channel organization for North America into 2020 and beyond. We will look to drive customer-focused programs that deliver high value to our channel community while developing new channel relationships.

CP: How will your experience with Mitel come into play in this new role?

JB: Not to date myself, but I have a lot of experience in the channel and also working with channel in this space. In the short time I have been at Avaya, I feel I have been able to add value because of my tenure in the industry and knowledge of this space. It is easy to go to work each day when you are an enthusiast about what you do and enjoy leading a team to drive value for our partners and customers.

CP: What’s your take on Avaya’s current channel strategy for North America? Any changes needed?

JB: There are several areas we want to sharpen our focus in so our partners are enabled to succeed in these evolving markets. It is important for us to partner together to deliver the solutions our mutual customers have come to expect from our organizations working together. We will be discussing this topic in detail at our upcoming Avaya Engage event in Phoenix in early February.

CP: How will you help to drive Avaya Cloud Office UCaaS through the channel?

JB: Avaya Cloud Office will be a key launch in 2020, and it will add a significant value to our channel program. This offer, combined with our customer base and channel opportunity, is one of the things that …

… really motivated me to come to Avaya. The partnership makes perfect sense to me, and I am excited to be leading our North America channel program for the launch of this offer.

CP: What are the biggest issues facing Avaya’s partners and what will be your role in addressing those issues?

JB: Before I answer this question, I think it is important to get more input from our channel to best understand their perspective. I have spent a lot of time already in outreach to partners and getting their feedback. That feedback will inform the decisions we make for improving the program to drive mutual success. The one thing I have been really pleased by is the deep partnership with the channel and their willingness to actively engage with us.

CP: What do you hope to have accomplished a year from now?

JB: Our longer-term priority is to build the best channel program in the industry regardless of the solution delivery model for unified communications, contact center and the related adjacencies, and to deliver along with our partners compelling solutions that solve critical business problems for the customers we are targeting. In order to get started, my key priorities to start are to get to know the channel partners and the Avaya team while preparing for the launch of Avaya Cloud Office and formulating a long-term strategy designed to grow our revenue in North America. Our success a year from now will be judged by how well we execute on a few key deliverables to impact the overall market.

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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