Avnet Launches Three Services From Ascendant Acquisition6:26 PM EST Tue. Apr. 24, 2012
Avnet Technology Solutions is now offering a trio of new services in North America that have been integrated into the distributor's portfolio from its March acquisition of IBM partner Ascendant Technology.
The services include a healthcare provider portal, middleware infrastructure automation and social business in the cloud, and they are targeted toward IBM VARs who have healthcare expertise as well as partners looking to enhance their presence in that vertical, said Fred Cuen, senior vice president and general manager, IBM Solutions, Avnet Technology Solutions, Americas.
"The bottom line -- all of this is to enable the channel to have greater capabilities that expand what they can offer to clients, to make them more valuable, trusted advisors and get them to evolve their relationship and value to customers," Cuen said.
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Avnet was interested in Ascendant because it felt the VAR had "reusable assets" that other solution providers could leverage with customers, Cuen said.
For example, the healthcare portal is built on open standards-based IBM software solutions and allows VARs to offer a single interface that delivers a highly personalized experience on an integrated platform, according to Avnet. Further, the distributor can now help IBM VARs provide a two- to four-week assessment to help customers identify short- and long-term opportunities for improvement based on business priorities, return on investment targets, and leading technical design and usability practices, according to Cuen.
"The healthcare provider portal has to do with working with patients. Avnet has our HealthPath offering as part of our framework, and IBM has identified health care as a prime target. All this is in alignment and we have the opportunity to provide solutions in a healthcare environment for partners that gives them something more to sell," Cuen said.
The middleware infrastructure service includes centralized automation of installation and patching, configuration management, and application deployments on heterogeneous middleware platforms, according to Avnet.
Lastly, the social business in the cloud allows VARs to present a cloud-based offering to engage in social media, Cuen said.
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"This is an interesting play because sometimes people want to try before they expand something in the enterprise. This allows them to do a test," Cuen said. "And the great thing is it can be scaled. You can continue to do a cloud-based service that we can host, or you can help them set up a private cloud for themselves. Social media is everywhere, and everyone needs to look at the opportunity to take advantage of it."
Right now, the services are only available to IBM VARs, and Cuen couldn't say when they might be expanded to Hewlett-Packard, Oracle or VARs of other platforms.
"That doesn't mean we can't help them out," he said. "These three offerings are just the forefront of the future as we look to develop more these types of opportunities for partners. This is only the beginning."