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Distributor Avnet Partner Solutions unveiled this week an extension of its Market Connection program to team ISVs with VARs in vertical and geographic markets.

The program focuses on Hewlett-Packard Co. VARs and essentially builds a “miniature channel” of HP VARs—one each in 11 sales regions—for ISVs with solutions in ERP, healthcare, Business Intelligence and IT consolidation, said Jim Custer, director of business development for Avnet’s HP-focused business unit.

The initiative is designed to promote partnering among the ISVs and HP solution providers early in the sales cycle to provide a more complete, integrated software and hardware solution, APS executives said yesterday at the distributor’s HP Enterprise Partner Summit in Phoenix.

Such partnering could provide both parties a competitive advantage in geographic markets and verticals such as healthcare and manufacturing, said Jim Kleeman, vice president of Avnet Partner Solutions, Americas, HP Business Unit, in a prepared statement.

“The ability to pair complementary skill sets and technology enables our partners to deliver total solutions, which are increasingly required in today’s fiercely competitive market,” Kleeman said.

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“Through this program, Avnet offers our partners an efficient process to combine their core competencies by leveraging each other’s strengths and profitably grow their businesses.”

By participating, ISVs can shorten their own sales cycle, by offering a complete solution, Custer said.

“Often, ISVs are product agnostic,” he said. “They hand you a software solution and some guidelines on how to complete the hardware solution. By joining with VAR sales representatives early, they shorten the sales cycle significantly by producing a definitive solution.”

Participating ISVs will be paired with one HP VAR in each of HP’s 11 sales regions, unless the size or opportunity of the region exceeds one VAR’s capabilities, Custer said.

The program is already off the ground with eight ISVs on board, working with VARs in ERP, healthcare Business Intelligence and Business Consolidation.

APS is working with ISVs in the information lifecycle management arena and expects to add an additional seven ISVs to the program within the next six months.

Market Connection is a six-step program designed to identify and act on market opportunities for HP resellers in vertical and geographic markets.

Editor’s Note: This story was updated to include information and comments from APS.