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Distributor Avnet Partner Solutions has created a unit dedicated to providing technical, marketing and sales support to VARs and integrators selling EMC Corp. products.

The unit, headed by Avnet Partner Solutions Vice President Scott Look, will eventually have 35 people, including account development managers who will work with resellers to identify sales opportunities.

The EMC team also will include field-based technical consultants to provide hands-on technical expertise and participate in joint end-user sales calls with VARs and integrators and sell and service EMC storage products and information management software.

Creation of the EMC-dedicated team will help put a stronger focus on the brand and grow the business, Look said. Avnet currently has about 125 resellers authorized to sell EMC product and the company eventually increase that number by 10 to 15 percent, he said.

“Our initial focus is going to be on working with our current resellers and getting them up to speed and more focused on EMC,” he said.

The distributor had discussions with EMC and resellers as it prepared to launch the unit, he said. About 15 Avnet staffers underwent training on EMC products at the vendor’s headquarters in Massachusetts.

“EMC has been very involved in working with us in setting up the structure and strategy,” said Look.

Avnet Partner Solutions is a division of Tempe, Ariz.-based Avnet Inc. and historically has focused on sales of IBM Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Inc. midrange systems. In recent years the division has expanded into other areas, including storage.

The distributor’s approach is to wrap a significant amount of consultation and training around product sales so that resellers can approach the end user with a solutions approach as opposed to merely pushing product.

“Jeff Bawol, senior vice president of enterprise software and storage at Avnet Partner Solutions, said the distributor’s approach is paying off. The dedicated EMC unit, he said, fits into the company’s strategy of tight partnerships with its resellers.

“Our goal has been to help our resellers grow faster by partnering with Avnet,” he said.

Services delivered by the EMC-focused unit include pre-sales and post-sales support, certification training seminars, technical support, online product demonstrations and professional services for software implementations.

Gregg Ambulos, vice president of Americas sales channel at EMC, said Avnet has shown a willingness in the five years since it first partnered with EMC to dedicate the necessary resources to selling the brand. He expects the distributors’ EMC-dedicated team will build on that success, he said.