Avnet Helps Resellers with Sales Opportunity in Network, Security

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print


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Distributor Avnet’s IT organization, Avnet Technology Solutions (ATS), has created a NetworkPath practice to help resellers, solution providers and VARs build solutions for customer data centers including networking, virtualization, security, storage and management technologies.

Looking to help resellers take their customers’ data centers to the next level, distributor Avnet’s (NYSE:AVT) Technology Solutions organization has introduced a networking practice comprising the top technologies for modern data centers—virtualization, security, storage and networking.

Avnet’s NetworkPath is designed to help resellers gain specialized expertise for the data center through services, tools and training that enable them to create a successful networking and data center practice. NetworkPath is ATS’ sixth such specialized practice area.

Avnet created the new practice specialization because it believes the opportunity for resellers in the data center is significant. Avnet’s estimates (based on numbers from Gartner and IDC) place networking equipment and services revenue for 2009 at $76.9 billion. Avnet’s NetworkPath is designed to help partners tap into that opportunity by helping them address customer needs for standard networking products and services plus the security and network management required for specific customer environments.

"The data center presents tremendous opportunity for resellers that understand how to create integrated solutions involving multiple suppliers and technology areas, such as networking, storage, security and virtualization," said Domenic Gianfrancesco, director of network solutions, Avnet Technology Solutions, Americas, in a prepared statement.

Such an approach using technology from different vendors can differ from the integrated compute/storage/networking/virtualization solutions that are currently offered by HP and Cisco. Some VARs have criticized the HP and Cisco offerings for taking away the VAR’s value-add and service opportunity from data center deals. Some in the industry advocate a best-of-breed product approach for data centers, which typically calls for a more hands-on approach by VARs and system integrators.

In December 2009 Avnet announced that it would support Cisco’s Unified Computing initiative by carrying all the products required to create a Cisco UC solution.

Avnet says NetworkPath provides the following:

  • NetworkPath University: training that includes both information on sales opportunities and also addresses the skills and services needed to develop a networking practice.
  • NetworkPath Assessment Services: a networking analysis that covers network optimization, network readiness, converged networks, consolidated networks, network security and wireless LAN networks.
  • SolutionsPath Playbooks: online sales toolkits focused on end-customer business challenges. These are designed to help partners prepare for sales calls, determine what types of solutions address their customers’ needs and generate leads to build their sales pipeline, according to Avnet.

Avnet’s NetworkPath is not the first such practice specialty introduced by the distributor.

"Avnet’s NetworkPath is a natural addition to our existing SolutionsPath technology practices," said Gianfrancesco in a statement. "We developed the practice to help our partners broaden their expertise, while providing them with additional skills and tools needed to address their customers’ evolving requirements for solutions spanning the entire data center." Others include SecurePath, StoragePath, VirtualPath, GovPath and HealthPath.

Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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