Avnet Adds IBM's SoftLayer To Cloud Services Portfolio

Avnet Technology Solutions Tuesday expanded on its longtime distribution partnership with IBM by adding SoftLayer cloud services to its portfolio.

Solution providers in the U.S. and Canada will now have access to a wider range of services and cloud offerings that are powered by IBM, said Tim FitzGerald, vice president of Avnet Cloud Solutions, Avnet Technology Solutions of the Americas, Phoenix.

"Avnet has a deep and rich history with IBM, and they continue to be a strategic important piece of that puzzle," said FitzGerald. "This combination of Avnet's value proposition and SoftLayer's assets with IBM's existing assets, including middleware, software and other SaaS applications, is a game-changer for the industry," he said.

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Interest in Software-as-a-Service solutions in the market is increasing every day, according to Fitzgerald.

"In general it has to do with the cost to deploy and the agility that an end customer is looking for for their newer projects," he said. "Many times a client is looking for flexibility that SaaS brings when they are deploying new applications or workloads."

As an Avnet and IBM Premier partner, Cathy Jirak, principal and COO of QueBIT, a Scarsdale, N.Y.-based business analytics consulting solution provider, believes the distribution agreement will bring advantages to Avnet and its partners.

"It definitely benefits Avnet and it provides the ability to have a single source for software sales to our customers," said Jirak. "This partnership will give Avnet the ability to help, support and provide incentives to partners, continuing that support system."

As partners are evaluating how to deliver a new workload to be deployed on-premise or off, Avnet will continue to provide support for those transitions, said FitzGerald.

"Avnet represents thousands of partners with trusted relationships with clients that are looking for trusted partners to make recommendations and advise them, whether it's for on-premise or off," said FitzGerald. "[It's] a critical point to add more value to their customers, and we try to take the complexity out for our partners."

Avnet also will continue to build out its existing cloud partner enablement programs, said FitzGerald.

"With our enablement programs and our ability to train their sales teams, we are looking to take the cost out and enrich the values for a partner building a cloud solution business and increasing the value for their clients," he said.