Avnet Expands IBM Relationship, Will Offer SoftLayer Technology
By TC Doyle
April 22, 2014 - News
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Avnet’s distribution arm has expanded its nearly three-decade long relationship with IBM and will now offer Big Blue’s SoftLayer cloud technology and services to its reseller and integration customers.

Starting in the U.S. and Canada first, the deal paves the way for Avnet Technology Solutions to help “business partners accelerate the development of their cloud portfolios with a scalable, secure base for the delivery of cloud services, spanning IBM's middleware and software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions," according to the company.

Avnet Technology Solutions, of course, is the $10.4 billion global distribution business that lives inside the $25.5 billion powerhouse that Avnet Inc. has become in technology.

“Avnet is uniquely positioned to help business partners create, identify and capture SoftLayer opportunities based on our development of channel-friendly cloud offerings, and deep expertise in IBM software and technologies," said Fred Cuen, senior vice president, general manager, Avnet Technology Solutions, Americas, IBM Solutions group, in a prepared statement. “Avnet’s team of more than 350 IBM-dedicated specialists in the U.S. and Canada, coupled with our extensive services team, is poised and ready to work side by side with our business partners to help them take their share of the tremendous cloud market opportunity."

The addition of SoftLayer technology and services to Avnet Technology Solutions’ portfolio will enable partners to help customers with sensitive data to develop fully functional private clouds that use SoftLayer’s secure network, and not subject them to public networks and the Internet.

Analysts briefed on the deal said that’s just one of the benefits of the expanded Avnet-IBM partnership.

“Avnet has an intriguing approach to the cloud computing market that aligns with IBM’s strategy and can enable channel partners to quickly deploy cloud services and solutions to end users," said Darren Bibby, program vice president of channels and alliances research for IDC.

As for Avnet, the addition of SoftLayer represents a continuation of the company’s recent push into cloud computing. Previously, it launched the Avnet CloudReady portal where partners can learn about the company’s cloud offerings, which include productivity and collaborations solutions, backup and disaster recovery options, security solutions, applications and management offerings, remote management and monitoring services, and data center as-a-service (DCaaS) capabilities. And the company continues to look for new opportunities and relationships.

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