How 8 Distributors Are Tackling The Cloud

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Avnet Technology Solutions

Rather than offer market-ready solutions, Avnet Technology Solutions, whose solution providers serve midmarket and enterprise customers, is concentrating on helping solution providers build their own cloud solutions.

The distributor has a comprehensive suite of educational offerings under its CloudReady brand to help solution providers better understand and market cloud-based solutions. The educational sessions include cloud foundation, sales and engineering tracks as well as a one-day strategy workshop for end users.

It's a major initiative for us. When you talk about the cloud and distribution, its analogous to the outsourcing of IT services and data centers. That fits squarely with what we do from a distribution standpoint. There is some complexity around the cloud, but the bottom line is we have major initiatives going [on] with the cloud, said Phil Gallagher, senior vice president and global president of Avnet Technology Solutions.

In addition, Avnet offers resources to end users, on behalf of solution providers, such as a three-week Cloud Assessment professional services engagement that formulates cloud adoption objectives and goals, assesses current processes and technology, identifies the changes that need to occur and calculates costs and return on investment of a proposed project.

While Avnet currently focuses on helping solution providers build their own solutions, Gallagher does not rule out partnering with third-party cloud service providers in the future. I can foresee us building alliances in the marketplace. If it makes sense for us to host, then we will host. If it makes sense to provide capital expenditures in a data center that we partner with, then thats fine. I don't think it's an or scenario; it's an and, Gallagher said.

Avnet also has initiatives around its biggest vendor partners, including IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Oracle and Microsoft, to help those companies provide the infrastructure in cloud solutions, he said. It's around solving problems and issues. All that we do every day is think about what the next hurdle for our customers is. I see cloud as one of those transformative offerings, Gallagher said.

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