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Avnet is taking a new global solutions specialist approach to drive channel growth for software-driven technologies, such as the cloud, cognitive computing, data analytics, the internet of things (IoT), mobility, security and enterprise networking. To support that strategy, the global distributor has created six specialist business units and dedicated more than 450 solutions specialists to support the business units and technologies.

The business units include Data Center Solutions, Cloud Solutions, Security and Enterprise Networking Solutions, Mobility Solutions, as well as Data Analytics, Cognitive Computing and IoT Solutions. A sixth specialist business unit, Education Services, which was created for EMEA and the Americas, is focused on training solutions.

The specialist business units are led regionally to align better with local partner requirements related to Avnet’s portfolio and technical capabilities, said Awvnet.

“We’re formalizing and aligning our structure across the regions to make sure that all of our customers and partners have the right dedication, focus, resources, sales support and technical expertise to drive these solutions around the next-generation technologies,” said Gavin Miller, vice president of marketing and strategy for Avnet Technology Solutions.

“We’re finding a lot more partners and suppliers have opportunities that span the different continents, and those end users want consistency of delivery and this will allow us to help our partners execute on that,” Miller added.

The strategy doesn’t change how Avnet works with its partners. “We have always been focused on solutions and business outcomes,” said Miller.

The program is reminiscent of Avnet’s successful SolutionsPath methodology launched several years ago to help partners understand unique issues and challenges around specific vertical markets. Now, the global technology distributor is giving partners access to services, resources and knowledge specifically around software-driven technologies with its enhanced solutions specialist support.

Avnet believes these next-generation technologies require a more specialized approach to support its channel and supplier partners. As the solutions become more complex and require a higher level of expertise, as well as span across different parts of an enterprise’s infrastructure, the approach is focused on driving better business outcomes for customers by giving partners the dedicated resources, sales support and technical expertise to help them provide the right solution for their end customers.

Partners would agree. “It’s difficult for all partners to have all the resources and specialization that customers might require for solutions. You can use Avnet’s expertise for a particular solution area,” said Dan Sytsma, vice president and general manager, Melillo Consulting, a technology solutions integrator. “Building out those skills and experience takes a lot of time, money and effort, and if Avnet has those skill sets, then we’ll be able to leverage that accordingly during the sales cycle.”

Avnet’s solutions-based strategy also is expected to help partners as many of their customers shift to more solutions- or services-based IT consumption.

“The market continues to change for partners from not just selling products but selling services and solutions to customers,” said Sytsma. “The challenge for partners is that you need to do all those things at once. This should open up new revenue and profit streams for us as a partner as we continue to help protect our traditional product business.”