Avnet Offers Microsoft CRM Solution

The CRM Advantage solution is available on both Hewlett-Packard and IBM platforms and includes hardware, software and implementation services.

Avnet Partner Solutions, Tempe, Ariz., plans to put Microsoft CRM into its Demo Advantage program, a Web-based service that can demonstrate the solution to customers using the application pre-populated with sample data. Demo Advantage can also be utilized by solution providers to train their employees on Microsoft CRM and other applications, said Tony Vottima, vice president of business development at Avnet Partner Solutions, Americas.

Avnet plans to sell the solution in five-user and 15-user bundles, Vottima said.

Avnet will provide the implementation resources or partner with third parties well-versed in Microsoft CRM, Vottima said.

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"One of the reasons we built this solution bundle was that solution providers getting into a CRM type of business may not have the infrastructure or the right type of people on staff," Vottima said. "It's not only knowledge around the technology, but also around the business processes of the [end user] to set up CRM right in the first place. That may not be something the reseller doesn't want to take on initially, but it shouldn't mean they have to walk away from the opportunity."

Avnet and Microsoft are targeting the CRM solution at small-business to small-enterprise clients, Vottima said.

"It can scale significantly. I think it could operate in higher-end enterprises as well. For our enterprise Unix reseller base today, it's an opportunity to sell more solutions into your install base. You don't have to leave the customer base you've been supporting for years," he said.