Avnet Technology Solutions introduces new strategic consulting service for partners
The idea behind the engagement service is that the partner will move from accessing Avnets resources in an à la carte manner to creating a complete business plan with measurable goals and mutual accountability. Avnet and its partners will develop profitable growth plans for designing, selling and delivering data center solutions in high-growth vertical markets. Participating partners will also increase the depth of their industry expertise and breadth of data center solutions competencies.
“We spent two years getting the business analysis ready for market,” Miller said. “It provides a very deep dive into the VAR’s business — all their transactional data with us, geographies, vertical markets, attach rates, services ratios. From that, we can advise them how to make decisions on how to grow their business into high growth vertical markets.”
That results in a strategic planning process that develops a very customized plan with the solution provide, including things like whether their sales force should be structured differently, changes to their website and marketing, customer enablement offerings to help them in the marketplace, and an overall skills assessment
“It’s a higher touch model than what we have had in the past, which builds on SolutionsPath but adds some things like the business analysis to provide a differentiator to grow market growth even faster,” Miller said.
The engagement service isn’t a quickie one-off consulting model.
“It’s a multi-year deal, in which it will take six months on average to execute an initial growth initiative plan,” Miller said. “It’s on a fee-for-service model, with a custom engagement with each VAR. It’s like working with a personal trainer.”
Miller said the service is well worth the cost.
“We believe this has value for both the high and low ends of the markets we serve,” he said. “With verticals you have so many business drivers. You are at risk of being displaced if you only have a technical focus. Someone can come over you and start talking to people making the business decisions.”
Miller said that they are seeing a lot of interest already from solution providers, who generally fit a profile of VARs committed to growing their business, and are willing to take action and sustain that change.
Jack Gulas, Chief Technology Officer of Ottawa-based systems integrator Maplesoft Group, saw real value in the offering.
“We are transitioning from high percentage of sales being hardware to a mix of hardware of software, which attaches more professional services, that has seen us go from 90% hardware three years ago, to more of a 50-50 hardware-software balance. Software is a more complicated sales cycle within the sales cycle. This program gives us an understanding of what verticals to target to create repeatable solutions. It also gives a real understanding of the compliance and regulations around the vertical markets, and it really helps the salespeople get a handle on the market.”