Avnet, the Phoenix-based distributor, on Wednesday launched a new online store to help its partners, particularly VARs, quickly build their cloud businesses.
The Avnet Cloud Marketplace enables partners in the United States and Canada to offer cloud-based services to their customers through both consumption-and subscription-based models, and to create branded storefronts to offer complete services to their customers.
Tim FitzGerald, vice president of Avnet’s cloud-solutions business in the Americas, tells Channel Partners the marketplace solves the challenges partners face in the cloud by providing a “platform that brings together technology suppliers with industry-leading cloud service providers to provide them with complete cloud solutions across software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS).”
Avnet has thousands of partners globally, including VARs, independent software vendors (ISVs), MSPs and system integrators (SIs).
With the Marketplace, VARs can expand their offerings, either into previously untapped markets or to existing customers, with white-label services, and increase their speed to market and competitiveness by leveraging Avnet’s integrated packages and bundles, FitzGerald said. Also, they can reduce costs through consolidated billing, automated invoicing and other efficiencies, he added.
“VARs can reduce time to provision new cloud services or make changes to existing cloud services,” he said. “Powerful cloud management functionality simplifies price book automation, usage tracking and consolidated billing.”
VARs also can minimize investment in “solutions development by leveraging the turnkey bundles and integrated packages already architected and available” in the marketplace, FitzGerald said.
For ISVs, the Marketplace: provides a platform for them to host their own business applications; scales their services in a low-touch way; allows them to focus on their primary business goals; and helps them streamline processes, FitzGerald explained.
And for MSPs, the biggest advantage is the branded (white-label) storefronts, which they can use to feature their own services, he said.
The Marketplace also includes a set of tools to help partners and their customers manage and optimize purchased cloud services. It offers dashboards that give access to real-time, full-detail cloud usage with drill-down capabilities to better understand what services are being consumed by whom and where they are being consumed, according to Avnet.
“IDC believes that the majority of CIOs are moving to a cloud-first strategy when investing in new technology, which means that all the VARs, ISVs, MSPs and other solution providers out there have to adopt a cloud-first strategy also,” said Darren Bibby, IDC’s vice president of channels and alliances research.
Most of the big technology distributors have had to develop thorough cloud strategies as more businesses abandon traditional hardware. Ingram Micro, Tech Data and others have their own versions of cloud marketplaces.