Avnet Unifies Global IT Services Business

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The company's unified global services strategy is designed to create more growth opportunities and collaboration for channel partners and suppliers.

By Gina Roos

Avnet Technology Solutions has unveiled a new global business model that combines existing service organizations into one global team focused on software, lifecycle and education services. The move was made to increase operational efficiencies for Avnet's global services offerings, and to deliver more capabilities to channel partners for greater growth opportunities, while extending the reach of its suppliers.

By providing common processes and tools, the new Avnet Services business is expected to deliver services from multiple business units to channel partners more efficiently.

Avnet looked at the value of bringing those entities together and then created this new services launch, said Bill Wentworth, senior vice president of Avnet Services, who will lead the global team. It brings all of their capabilities together to complete the ecosystem around Avnet's core products and solutions.

Avnet Services combines several existing businesses, including services-focused companies that have been acquired in the past several years. These include Avnet Integrated's aftermarket and lifecycle services, and the services and software operations of recent acquisitions, including Ascendant Technology, BrightStar Partners, Canvas Systems, Genilogix, Mattelli, Pepperweed Consulting and TSSLink. It also includes the acquisition of Magirus Group, which has a large educational practice that will provide global training programs in support of suppliers and partners.

"Now, it's about leveraging those capabilities and scaling them," said Wentworth. "We'll be looking at the needs of our suppliers and partners in those regions and expand those services as needed."

These integrated solutions will provide channel partners with the capability to add value to their offerings, enabling them to meet growing demand for analytics, big data and cloud-based services for next-generation infrastructures. The IT services market is estimated to be a $674.9 billion business with a compound annual growth rate of 4 percent from 2011 to 2015, according to IDC's Worldwide Black Book Q4 2012-Jan. 2013 report.

The reorganization around services won't change the way Avnet works with its channel partners, but instead will "enhance and enable our partners," said Wentworth. "If you look at our services and technical capabilities, it would be a significant expense for some of our partners to have these services on their bench. It gives them the services capabilities that they probably couldn't invest in on their own."

The organization will work in parallel with Avnet Technology Solutions' core product business model and will continue to work with channel partners, including value-added resellers, independent software vendors, system integrators and original equipment manufacturers to sell and deliver these services. The difference is that Avnet Services will work with partners through a global team of more than 2,000 service delivery specialists.

Initial service offerings will focus on software, lifecycle and education services. Software services include infrastructure and application management, as well as cloud-based services. Lifecycle services include integration, installation and implementation, as well as field and depot repair, spare parts logistics and end-of-life services. Education services include vendor-accredited training and a scalable training infrastructure.

Stickiness of services is key, said Wentworth. "It's adding more value to the products that the partners sell," he added. "For Avnet to make those investments on behalf of the partners to enable their supply chain to be more efficient and stickier is a huge benefit to them."

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