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Avnet's specialist approach gaining traction

In the three months since Avnet set up its specialist business units the distributor has seen plenty of reseller and vendor interest

Avnet’s decision three months ago to align its sales efforts to solutions is reaping fruit with the distributor getting support from both resellers and the vendor community.

The channel player might have been in the headlines a lot because of the forthcoming acquisition by Tech Data but it has been getting its head down in the meantime concentrating on developing the strategy that made it an attractive target.

Earlier this ear the distributor established six business units that were designed to focus on those areas of the market that were delivering the strongest growth - data centre solutions, cloud solutions, security and enterprise networking solutions, data analytics/cognitive computing/IoT, mobility solutions and education services.

The decision to focus on those areas has seen the firm shuffle its sales teams and bring in some fresh talent. In the case of the IoT area the distributor now has a dedicated team of 35 that are operating in that area.

Miriam Murphy, senior vice president for the North Region at Avnet Technology Services, said that it was keeping an open mind about adding more business units in the future and segmenting current areas down into more detail as the opportunities grew.

“I see this as evolving and see this segmenting into vertical markets and different areas,” she said.

“Suppliers like us being more solution centric, especially with partners who are working with new technology areas in their portfolio,” he added.

She pointed to the recent signing with Docker as an example of how it was bringing on board vendors that covered the business unit areas, in this case data centre solutions: “We need to be ahead of the curve in offering new vendors and services”.

As well as attracting more vendors to the fold Murphy said that the solution approach had given the distributor a chance to get involved with 8industry projects that provided an opportunity to work with customers and partners to showcase just what could;d be done in areas like IoT and mobility.

“We are building a channel ecosystem that is really supporting that,” she added that partners and customers responded well to real-life projects.

Murphy said that even though the Tech Data deal, which should close early next year, had taken a lot of focus it was still “forging ahead” with its strategy.

“There is a lot of excitement about Avnet taking early ground and making steps in these areas,” she said.

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