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Avnet penned a new distribution agreement with SAP to sell the software giant’s enterprise applications portfolio in the U.S. and Canada.

Avnet—which already distributes SAP offerings in the Asia-Pacific region—is aiming to help its channel partners capture a bigger piece of global enterprise IT spending, which Gartner researchers forecast to reach $2.68 trillion in 2013.

“Enterprise software is predicted to be the fastest-growing segment of the worldwide IT market in the coming year, and Avnet expects that our relationship with SAP in the U.S. and Canada will help our channel partners capitalize on the opportunity this presents,” said Jeff Bawol, president of Avnet Technology Solutions, Americas, said in a statement. “Our partners will be able to further differentiate themselves with an in-depth understanding of the crucial role services and hardware play in ensuring the success of enterprise software deployments.”

Under the new agreement, Avnet now provides SAP analytics, database and enterprise mobility products to its partners in the U.S. and Canada. The offerings include the in-memory HANA platform, Afaria mobile device management solution, Business Objects solutions, Crystal solutions, Lumira software, and Sybase software.

Earlier this year, SAP started the roll-out of its HANA Enterprise Cloud partner program, in which partners can resell the HANA platform operating in the cloud or deploy the technology in their own cloud.

“Our co-CEOs have been very clear that, by 2015, we want to have 40 percent of our revenue going through our partner community,” Matt Reaves, vice president for North American Distribution at SAP, told Channel Insider. “We are making great strides to achieve that goal, but to get that scale and scope across not only the enterprise but into the SME [small and midsize enterprise] and even the small business, we really need a larger coverage model.

“We could go out and recruit all these partners ourselves, but why wouldn’t we work with distributors who already have long-term relationships with all the partners we would recruit anyway, and work with them to get their partners ready to sell our technology stack to the end-user community,” added Reaves.

Under the new agreement with SAP, Avnet will provide its partners with a range of education, resources, services and tools to help grow their enterprise software businesses. This includes helping partners become authorized resellers of SAP products, creating reference architectures for more converged infrastructure offerings, and providing sales and technical training about industry issues to help drive enterprise software sales including big data.

What’s unique about Avnet is its capability to provide high-value services through its partners, thanks in part to several recent acquisitions, together with its product capabilities and additional services that its partners can provide, said Reaves. Avnet’s ability to take a complete converged product solution, including SAP products, to its end-user community “was a match made in heaven,” he added.

“Most distributors don’t have services capabilities outside of things like virtualization and storage management,” said Reaves. “In terms of business intelligence or mobility and things of that nature, we think that is a unique differentiator with Avnet.”

Enterprise software partners also have access to Avnet’s SolutionsPath methodology, which provides targeted tools, resources and expertise in high-growth vertical markets for enterprise software such as finance, health care, energy, government and retail. Other services include data mining to help identify sales opportunities and customized demand-generation programs to help partners close deals in key vertical markets.

SAP is an industry-centric company in terms of how it goes to market, so Avnet’s SolutionsPath was a key differentiator for the software provider, said Reaves. “To have a distributor that already has a practice around health care [for example], it makes it easier to plug the SAP technology stack into those customer sets because partners already have domain expertise and it’s just a matter of teaching them about our product set,” he said.

Gina Roos, a Channel Insider contributing writer, specializes in technology and the channel.