Kamlesh Mani, Steve Rose and Roger Bennett — all appointed as business development managers at Allied Telesis just over a year ago — are no longer on the company's payroll. Managing director Paul Batchelor says Allied Telesis is “streamlining the business” to focus less on sales and more on services and support.
Former Renaissance BDM Roger Bennett was last year appointed Allied Telesis BDM for the Northern Region (based in Auckland), while Wellington-based Steve Rose was the BDM for the central region and Kamlesh Mani, who used to work at Connector Systems, assumed the responsibilities for the Southern Region from a base in Christchurch, where the company has an R&D facility.
Last year, Batchelor said it was time to invest big in New Zealand and the three business development managers now laid off were the three staff appointed to help with that growth.
At the time, Batchelor described the BDM hires as “a commitment to the channel”.
“Their role is to look after the channel, approach end user business and pull it through the channel. We are making a commitment to the channel with these hires,” he told Reseller News. He added that the company has “50 or so significant resellers” in the country and planned to increase that number.
But earlier this month a source who asked to not be named told Reseller News that the company had “got rid of people who were growing the business”.
“He really has no good reason for the layoffs as business was doing really well,” adds the source, calling this a “short term reaction, not thinking about long term”.
Another source close to Allied Telesis told Reseller Newsthat he was “baffled by the decision.”
“We were tracking really well,” the source says. “We had well over 30 percent growth last year, compared to the previous year, and were up to 21 percent so far this year, compared to the last one. The distributors were doing very well too. Everything was going in the right direction. That’s why I’m so baffled.”
“We had a bit of a review and we are trying to energise as it were,” says Batchelor, commenting on the staff changes. “We did a lot of leg work in the regions so now we have streamlined a few things. Things weren’t quite working for us,” he adds.
Batchelor says most of Allied Telesis business in New Zealand is “referral business” and the vendor’s “main strength is services and support”.
“We’re trying to up the services side of things,” Batchelor continues. “We certainly raised our profile and covered a lot of ground from visiting existing and new resellers around the country with the sales team so that was good. We are now focusing more on service and support for 2013 moving forward.”
According to Batchelor, “the good news is that we still have one of the largest network vendor teams in New Zealand (excluding Allied Telesis Labs R&D in Christchurch) with 16 staff.”
“We have seven in the sales, project management, administration area and nine dedicated specialist network engineers. We will continue to provide the best available network service and support in New Zealand to our valued reseller channel.”
One of the unnamed sources says distributors have been dropped too.
Batchelor says he would rather not comment on distribution deals at this stage but says the company is “negotiating with some people” so more announcements could be coming soon.