Distributor Cloud Initiatives: Do They Help Or Hinder?

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Meanwhile, Tony Safoian, president of SADA Systems, a Southern California-based integrator, chalks up cloud strategies as practical necessities for hardware-based companies that wish to remain relevant in the new paradigm.

"I'm not surprised because I think the distributors are having a very hard time right now," he said. "There's a lot less hardware being purchased, and they need to figure something out because their core business is definitely hurting."

In response, Tim FitzGerald, vice president of cloud services at Avnet, explains that Avnet's objective is not to compete with its partners of any size, but to help accelerate their success.

"We do a lot of integrated and packaging work where we are actually doing solution design," he said. "So our technical people are designing solutions that go through a partner and meet the customer's business need. Normally, you would see a reseller doing that on a transactional basis. But the market opportunity in the cloud is growing so rapidly, and there are so many broad areas of workloads that we think a distributor can bring a lot of value by compressing time-to-market and taking cost out of the resellers' business. And we bring that value to both smaller partners and larger partners."

FitzGerald also noted that the Avnet cloud strategy centers on contracts directly between the reseller and the end customer which, he says, helps to solidify partner account control.




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