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Avaya sharpens teeth against partners trading grey kit

Incident last month with partner highlights willingness to get tough with the channel

Avaya sharpens teeth against partners trading grey kit
Jeremy Butt says Avaya will get as aggressive as it possibly can in a bid to apprehend grey marketeers.

Communications vendor Avaya has pledged to take a much tougher stance on resellers that dabble in the grey market, including exercising its rights to audit resellers to ensure compliance of its programmes.

Speaking to Channel Middle East on the sidelines of its recent MENA Partner Conference in Dubai, the company's VP for worldwide channels, Jeremy Butt, said that although the issue of grey marketing hadn't necessarily exacerbated in recent years, Avaya's ability to control it had improved.

Butt admitted Avaya had not done a good enough job of serial number tracking in the past, but said it was finally "getting the teeth to go and do something about it."

He said: "We are doing a significantly better job now in tracking serial numbers and we have changed a lot of the terms and conditions around awarding special bids to give ourselves a much more aggressive right to be able to go back and audit the reseller and the end-user."

Butt said that in instances where excess product had been resold into other markets, Avaya would not hesitate to take action.

Although he declined to point the finger at specific countries, Butt highlighted a case last month as proof that Avaya will pursue offenders.

"We found [a reseller] that actually falsely imported the wrong products from one place to another, where the product wasn't authorised. We went back, we got compensation from them and we made the partner go back into the authorised channel and purchase authorised products and replace the whole lot. So we will get as aggressive as we possibly can."

Avaya's efforts to tackle parallel importing in EMEA appear to form part of a wider company policy to take a harder line on the issue. Earlier this year, Avaya became a member of The Alliance for Gray Market and Counterfeit Abatement (AGMA), a global body that consists of major technology firms committed to protecting their authorised sales channels.

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