Avnet Launches Sales, Technical Cloud Training For VARs

The two-day training session doesn't focus on specific vendors but more on understanding the concept of cloud computing and how that delivery model might be leveraged to solve end users' business problems or data center pain points, said Tim FitzGerald, vice president of data center technology solutions practices at Avnet Technology Solutions.

"We don’t think it starts with an offering and you drive that offering into the marketplace. It's starts with a pain point and you, as the trusted advisor, architect a solution with knowledgeable sales [people] and solutions architects on a strategic plan for the customer, and all the tools designed for that customer," FitzGerald said. "That's where it requires knowledge of the technologies involved but also [knowledge of] vertical industry business problems."

Avnet's cloud training builds on the CloudReady initiative it launched last year and fits within the company's overall SolutionsPath value proposition, FitzGerald said.

The training includes two separate tracks: sales and solutions engineering, to ensure that VARs can market and then execute on cloud solutions, he added.

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"There is so much to learn in cloud computing. We keenly designed this curriculum to maximize time out of the business for people in VAR firms and to distill knowledge down to the smallest consumable byte," FitzGerald said. "We believe a trusted advisor VAR in the data center has to consider cloud as a delivery model when evaluating a client's needs. They need to balance the security and cost implications, all while helping to design the best efficient data center solution for that customer."

The sales track helps individuals obtain an understanding of the key priorities for customers and provides guidance on account planning processes. They will also receive a sales toolkit to jump-start the sales process to begin qualifying opportunities, according to Avnet.

The solutions engineering track allows a VAR's technical staff to learn more about the main components of cloud reference architectures but also about the people, processes and technology changes required to move through each stage of the cloud maturity model, FitzGerald said.

"As you look across the partner ecosystem, there are lots of people at different stages [of cloud readiness]. One thing research continues to confirm is that cloud is at top of mind of decision makers of end users," FitzGerald said. "Our VARs' sales and technical teams need to remain well versed in all changes going on as cloud as a delivery model for data center solutions. We need to continue to remain relevant in tools, enablement, professional services, to ensure they remain trusted advisors."