“It’s a logical consolidation of our go-to-market strategy in the data center,” said Steve Kedzior, Avnet Technology Solutions Vice President and General Manager of Services, who was brought on board a year ago to accelerate the distributor’s services business.
The emphasis is not on net new services, but Avnet has invested in new resources to deliver services more effectively to VAR and ISV partners.
“A big thing that’s new isn’t offering or portfolio related, but is structure and resource related, giving the ability to translate opportunities into sales from a services perspective,” Kedzior said.
Chief among them is the hiring of many new Service Development Managers, who will be available to partners to work with them throughout the sales process and help them close services opportunities.
“We have made significant investments in our ability to market services through our partners,” Kedzior said. “Most of these Service Development Managers are new hires, and they are, by design, people with service sales background.”
Avnet’s service development managers also engage with best-of-breed independent service providers that expand partners’ businesses from both the technical and geographic perspective.
One new service category has been introduced — IT Asset and Disposal Services. These services include asset disposal, data destruction and asset remarketing when IT assets reach end of life.
“We had some resources here, but we were not focused on this previously, and have now added it to our portfolio as a distinct offering through a combination of partner and Avnet resources,” Kodzior said. “It gives us a new set of offerings which many of our channel partners haven’t been doing, so it will be a new opportunity for them.”
Avnet is also expanding its Cloud computing services as part of this initiative, building on what has been offerered through CloudReady, the cloud-specific component to its SolutionsPath methodology. Recently, Avnet announced two new CloudReady consultative services — cloud strategy workshops and cloud assessment services. Partners can build on these consultative service engagements to provide their customers with the quantitative and qualitative analysis they need to make informed decisions on how to incorporate cloud computing into their data centers. These tools assist Avnet partners with consultative tools around the cloud.
“We are continuing to expand our portfolio around CloudReady services, and plan them into overall lifecycle management,” Kedzior said. “Having a successful portfolio of services always requires being fluid. Things have to move in and out based on technology and demand and consumption. The trick is this everchanging refreshed portfolio, and making sure you have a pre-sales front end that can represent that.”
Kedzior said he expects the consolidation of the data center services combined with the new resources will significantly drive new business among their present partners.
“We expect tremendous acceleration in our services business,” he said. “Most of our business partners are already in the datacenter lifecycle basis to some degree and they do parts of that very well — but we can fill in gaps, technology gaps and geo gaps. Our goal is to help them move around the continuum.”
Kedzior said the new organization provides a consolidated strategic framework that aligns with how CIOs and their staffs think about the data center and how they consume IT services.
“We think this is really centered around a CIO’s view of the world, that it relates to consumers of technology, and is customer-centric,” he said. “This is the way they look at the world, the whole lifecycle as they invest in assets.”