Enterprise comms player Aastra to target SMEs

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Enterprise comms player Aastra to target SMEs

Enterprise communications vendor Aastra planned to target small to medium enterprises in Australia as sluggish sales forced it to rethink its local strategy.

Co-founder and Europe’s regional head Hugh Scholaert was appointed to review the local operations, which has already seen the fall of former managing director John Ward.

On one of his several recent visits to the country, Scholaert said Aastra had a strong customer base in Australia following its 2008 buy of Ericsson's Enterprise Business but it “hasn’t been able to transform that”.

“We are number one in Europe but yet here we’re not,” Scholaert told CRN.

The company planned to restructure its local team and ramp up channel activities. It also planned  - for the first time - to release products targeted to small and medium businesses.

It was searching for a managing director and had promoted channel manager Tony Warhurst to sales and marketing director and Daniel Ng as operations and finance director.

“The team was insufficient on the ground. There have been changes in the staffing because we have a mandate to grow," he said.

Scholaert said he would increase Aastra’s channel activity with new programs and user group meetings, which he looked forward to attending. 

Aastra would also move to work with partners to increase their direct contact with customers for service level 2 support which Telstra traditionally covered. 

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