Avnet Technology Solutions has created a healthcare-focused ISV "ecosystem" to help solution providers identify and build solutions around new and market-specific applications for customers.
"That [health care] business continues to grow. It's growing more than 50 percent [year-over-year] with our VAR base," said Tony Vottima, vice president of vertical market solutions at Avnet Technology Solutions, Americas.
The program will beef up the HealthPath initiative that the Tempe, Ariz.-based distributor launched in 2006, according to Vottima said.
The four initial ISVs participating in the program are BridgeHead Software, Compressus, HIPAA Solutions and Sentillion.
To date, about 235 people from 60 solution provider companies have graduated from Avnet's health care educational track that helps the VARs have a better understanding of both medical terminology as well as customer needs, Vottima said.
"Our goal, as resellers are calling on health care customers, is to get them deeper and wider. We want them to get a seat at the table. If they're involved in the discussion earlier, they can provide better solutions," Vottima said.
Avnet has health-care training sessions scheduled for March and April for VARs that haven't been through the program yet, but is also developing an "internship" program in which the distributor will take solution providers into a health care facility to meet with doctors, nurses and department heads to better understand their IT problems and needs, Vottima said.
"For example, the radiology department head will say here's what we do, here's how our work flows, and here's the things we face every day. It's all around enablement so when a VAR goes into a hospital, they can speak the same language," Vottima said.
Marc Sarazin, executive vice president of sales and marketing at AdvizeX Technologies, an Independence, Ohio-based solution provider, is looking forward to that program.
"The next step for us is to go through a day in the life of people working in health care, to be in there shoes for a day. That will be invaluable," he said.
Meanwhile, the first phase of the ISV ecosystem is to populate an online directory where ISVs and VARs can find each other, Vottima said. Next, Avnet will work with both parties using "mutual investments" for lead generation and training, he said. "Avnet will remain in the partnerships to ensure joint selling efforts," he said.
Finally, Avnet may eventually resell the applications itself to VARs instead of just playing matchmaker. Right now, the distributor resells BridgeHead's enterprise data archiving solutions to VARs, he said.
"A lot of that is the maturity of the [ISV]. As we find the right fits between hardware companies and software companies and build more of a solution, we will look to do that," Vottima said. "It depends on the goals of the ISV and the VAR."