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To that end, Avnet has instituted a number of programs aimed at helping partners to select vertical markets and build successful practices around them. Most of these are organized under Avnet's SolutionsPath program, which provides a series of methodologies for the entrance and optimization of partner operations in several key areas. At the technology level, these would include data center, virtualization, storage, cloud, unified communications and mobility. Targeted verticals include health, retail, government and financial. Playbooks are made available to support sales, marketing, and technical operations. Playbooks typically focus on customer pain points, industry information, sales and technical techniques plus ROI tools.
"SolutionsPath is a proven process to gain an understanding of the market and how to execute in that market," Miller explained. "It's broken down into several components. The first is the analytics phase where we take a look at a partner's business and help them understand where they've been selling in terms of location, customer size and vertical market. From that, we develop a strategic planning program based on their specific value proposition. Next, we move into the training enablement phase, followed by strategic planning that looks at objectives and the corresponding sales and marketing plans and a list of executables. We help to augment all of this with a variety of service offerings that we provide."
Miller added that partners that have engaged in the program have consistently shown higher levels of success in penetrating their targeted verticals and technologies. The distributor charges fees for access to the curricula, but Miller pointed out that is necessary for participants to have some "skin in the game" in order to keep the classes within manageable volumes of attendees.
"Most of the participants are owners and operators of the organizations," he said. "These are usually VP-level people, but also a lot of solutions architects and salespeople. Uptake from the channel has been rising steadily because we continue to make the tracks relevant to what is happening in the partner community and the industry at large."