Avnet Differentiates Business With Solutions Specialist Strategy

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Lynn HaberThere’s no escaping digital transformation and the hit it’s taking on customer businesses, channel partner firms, IT vendors and distributors. Look no further than Avnet Inc.’s announcement Tuesday about the shift in its Avnet Technology Solutions business model to become a solutions specialist across five business units.

Attributing its new strategy to changes in IT – namely, the move toward software-defined infrastructure – Avnet’s five new specialist business units are: Data Center Solutions; Cloud Solutions; Security and Enterprise Networking Solutions; Data Analytics, Cognitive Computing and IoT Solutions; and Mobility Solutions. In EMEA and the Americas, an additional unit, Educational Services, is also being added.

Avnet's Gavin Miller“What were looking at doing is to enhance the solutions approach that we had, specifically in the Americas but also within the regions, and drive the right dedication and focus, technical expertise, sales support – everything that a partner needs to take advantage of these next-generation technologies that are impacting the market so much,” Gavin Miller, vice president of marketing and strategy for Avnet Technology Solutions, Americas, told us.

The distributor’s evolving business strategy also includes driving consistency across regions in which Avnet operates. Miller described Tuesday’s strategic business announcement as evolutionary, particularly, how the next generation of technologies are playing such a large part in the overall solutions – defined a lot by the software that drives those technologies.

“We’re finding a need to go deep in expertise is a requirement and that not all of our partners can invest to the level that they need,” he noted.{ad}

By creating the new business units, Avnet contends that it will be better positioned to provide the technical expertise and tool sets around new IT solutions that haven’t been available to partners in the past.

The distributor is dedicating more than 450 solutions specialists to this task. Miller explained that these are existing Avnet resources that may have been focused on other areas but have the requisite skill sets, the right intellectual property and subject-matter expertise to fulfill the company’s new goals.

How might these solution specialists work with partners?

In some cases, the solutions specialists might help with …


… development work, making sure that partners are enabled around the technologies and the nuances as they pertain to vertical markets, bringing new suppliers into the mix, as well as bringing in new partners who are savvy with next-generation technologies. In other instances, partners may need help with the sales cycle or bringing the right resources to bear on an opportunity to help augment a partner engagement.

In some cases, the solutions specialist engagement may be one on one, there may be sales team support, or marketing enablement, business insights and education. In fact, Miller said that Avnet would be rolling out programs in support of its enablement efforts across verticals – some this quarter, such as in health care – followed by others over time.

Avnet’s solutions specialists will be available to all of the distributor’s partners; however, not all will chose to take advantage of it. The partner most likely to be interested in Avnet’s new solutions specialists are those that are committed to Avnet and/or those invested in providing new technology services.

“There’s no fee basis for this, but obviously we’re going to invest in those partners who have invested in these technologies and help them grow at a faster rate than if they were doing it by themselves,” said Miller.

Expect to see this new business model shift across all regions in September.

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