Executive Briefing: Avnet's Cloud Strategy

By Jennifer Lawinski  |  Print this article Print

Distribution giant Avnet will experience a change at the top in July when Rick Hamada takes over as CEO after a career at the company. Channel Insider sat down to talk with Hamada about his strategies, plans and his unique perspective on the market place. Here's what he said.


Channel Insider: What are Avnet's plans around the cloud, and how important is the cloud to the company's strategy?

Hamada : Our role is to help sort through all of the options and opportunities here and to continue to communicate with our VARs. What kinds of services, demands , opportunities? What types of value should we be creating together as the demand for these types of solutions arise?

What values can scale across a network of partners and what needs to be done customer-by-customer? What’s more customer-specific should be the domain of the VAR, and what’s scalable could perhaps be the domain of the value-added distributor.

Channel Insider: Vendor rivalries have heated up lately -- Oracle/Sun vs. HP vs. Cisco.  As "Switzerland," how does a distributor like Avnet keep all these vendors happy?

Hamada : The skill of relationship management is something we’ve done for many years as a distributor. We’re not an IP company. We are a services company out to accelerate the success of our trading partners doing certain things all day every day, building scale and efficiency and leveraging that for our partners benefit.

This is the world we live in.

Our go-to-market strategy helps us keep that more manageable. In North America we have a dedicated team of people built around our IBM relations, one around HP, one around Oracle/Sun, one around Cisco… There’s an element of the front-office that we focus with dedication to our key partners. And then there’s the scale… finance, HR, legal, etc. to keep a very cost-efficient model in place because we do not have a totally-expansive line card that is trying to cover every tech provider out there.

I would tell you our top ten for Technology Services, our computer business, our top 10 supplier relationships represent over 80 percent of our revenues.