The Oracle Question
Speaking of balancing acts, Avnet has a doozy on its hands with the evolving Oracle-Sun relationship. Oracle is increasing the size of Sun's direct sales force, but also expanding Oracle PartnerNetwork Specialized programs to be Sun-centric. How is Avnet eyeing the moves?
"Is there a concern? Yes? Are we watching it closely? Yes. And if Oracle-Sun were sitting here with us, we'd say the same thing," Gallagher said. "What we need to do is see where their strategy is going and align to their strategy. We're a distributor. That's our job. Is there a risk to our business, sure, and we're still trying to evaluate that. But there are unique opportunities around the world, and Judson [Althoff, Oracle's channel chief] added a strategic team to service Avnet around the world. Plus, as they get out of certain OEM agreements, we still have, for example, HDS."