Avnet Hall-Mark Takes Linux Express To Next Step


Distributor helps solution providers identify opportunities


First Avnet Hall-Mark educated solution providers in its Linux Express program. Now it wants to help them deliver IBM Linux-based solutions in a quick manner, according to the Tempe-based distributor.

Initially, Linux Express focused on technical certification for IBM solution providers and identification of viable market opportunities, according to Avnet Hall-Mark. The first phase of Linux Express included the completion of certification of technical staff; education forums for resellers; installation of Linux configurations available for testing and demonstrations at Avnet Hall-Mark's WebSphere Innovation Centers; and the creation of bundled Linux solutions.

With that base, Avnet Hall-Mark now seeks to identify market areas to match its solution providers' skills, the company said. The distributor is holding a series of strategic planning sessions with solution providers, including a session in January with 20 IBM solution providers.

"Avnet Hall-Mark has clearly demonstrated their ability to build sound go-to-market strategies for their solution providers to capitalize on the Linux opportunity," said John Sarsguard, vice president of worldwide Linux sales at IBM. "We are impressed with their solid commitment and continued execution. We intend to continue to work closely with them to ensure delivery of their Linux Express program for the channel."

Avnet Hall-Mark also launched a series of sales and technical Webinars, marketing programs and sales promotions to help IBM solution providers move into the Linux market quickly, said Fred Cuen, senior vice president and general manager of Avnet Hall-Mark's IBM business unit.

"Our role is to identify viable market segments where our solution providers can add value and benefit profitably," Cuen said. "As with other emerging markets, our first step is to educate our partners on opportunities, then arm them with the tools needed to be successful in this area. This is a natural extension for our xSeries and iSeries solution providers. Linux Express provides them with structure and the steps necessary to benefit from this growth market."