Avnet Introduces Partner Services NetworkBy Chris Gonsalves | Print
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Avnet's OneTech Connect program is like eHarmony for the channel.Avnet unveiled on Aug. 16 its own moderated matchmaking services for solution providers that want to pair up on engagements. The goal of the program, dubbed OneTech Connect, is to get partners with different skill sets paired up on jobs they might otherwise have missed, according to Avnet officials.
It's eHarmony in the channel.
In addition to the matchmaking, the technology distributor is also doing a fair bit chaperoning with OneTech Connect, handling not only the contact between pre-approved Avnet partners, but also staying engaged as the project manager and providing professional services when needed. That helps mitigate the costs and risks associated with direct partner-to-partner activities, Avnet officials said.
"The idea is for the project management aspects to be taken off the shoulders of the partners, to ensure consistent quality and project management for all engagements," she said.
Click here to read about Ingram Micro's extended service plans.
The Avnet approach contrasts with other established distributor-sponsored solution provider networks, such as the long-standing Ingram Micro Service Network, which allow partners more freedom to engage one another directly. Jason Beal, director of Service Sales at Ingram Micro, said he feels the IMSN has achieved the best balance of supervision and support while still giving VARs room to interact and succeed.
"Ingram Micro's communities have carried the solution provider partnering flag long before it was a hot topic and best practice in the channel," said Beal, in Santa Ana, Calif. "VARs work with IMSN because of its proven infrastructure, the contractual protections of non-compete, [its] easy-to-use online application tool, NDA and member code of conduct, and the human elementthe IMSN team and the AR communities themselves."
Beal said IMSN monitors its more than 750 member-partners quarterly and ensures quality of service through customer satisfaction calls to end users; maintaining aggregated customer satisfaction scores for each provider; providing arbitration and mediation during disputes; and moderating a peer review process.
"The IMSN defines and drives partner-to-partner collaboration in the IT Channel," Beal said. "By using the IMSN a solution provider never has to say no to a profitable business deal or tell a customer they don't have the expertise or reach."
For its part, Avnet's OneTech portfolio includes five service lines: OneTech Implementation Services, OneTech Consulting Services, OneTech Integration Services and OneTech Support Services. The services are available to participating partners for a fixed fee based on individual contracts.