Partners: Avnet Program Is Opening Door To HPE Synergy Opportunity

Solution providers say distribution giant Avnet is providing critical training, enablement and support that opens the door to sales growth for Hewlett Packard Enterprise's new Synergy composable infrastructure.

KeyInfo, an Agoura Hills, Calif., HPE partner, No. 237 on the 2015 CRN Solution Provider 500, is putting as many as 10 of its sales reps and seven of its technical team into Avnet's Synergy partner enablement, training and account planning programs.

"You could not ask for more from a distributor than what Avnet does with major vendor technologies," said Dru Murphy, a technology solutions consultant for KeyInfo. "They are strategically in sync with HPE, and having the dedicated teams that touch us every day in this journey is invaluable."

Murphy praised the Avnet Brainshark self-paced training modules as critical to getting KeyInfo reps ups to speed on Synergy.

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KeyInfo expects to see a big payoff from the Synergy investment for both customers and the channel, said Murphy. "Synergy is truly transformational so there will be a lot of push for KeyInfo to be on the front of the wave," he said.

Technologent, one of the fastest-growing HPE enterprise partners in the country, already has put 25 sales and technical reps through the Avnet Synergy training, said David Ashby, a solutions architect for the Irvine, Calif., company.

Avnet's training for Synergy is critical for Technologent to successfully drive home the benefits of the new composable infrastructure to customers, said Ashby. "Because this is a new architecture, there are going to be a lot of things we are not aware of right out of chute," he said. "Avnet is a very valuable partner to us on products like this.They have a technical army that does all the complex HPE builds for us."

Avnet's configuration expertise around a product like Synergy is critical because Technologent focuses on complex enterprise engagements, said Ashby. "We have a 2-to-1 ratio of technical to sales reps," he said.

Synergy represents a major breakthrough over the current hyper-converged products on the market, said Ashby. "The compelling thing about Synergy is the ability to easily add chunks of compute, storage and fabric in an incremental fashion and then manage it in a predictable way," he said.

Synergy brings a lot of the best elements of hyper-converged, which includes software-defined to a frame-based hardware environment with more compelling customer economics, said Ashby.

"We have done some of the math on the individual rack-mount servers and hyper-converged, and what we are seeing is a big chunk of the cost of those solutions are hidden from the customer," Technologent's Ashby said. "What customers find after they purchase the hyper-converged is a lot of the cost is in the plumbing, the transceivers, the interface, the cabling between hyper-converged rack-mount servers and the network."

The central nervous system of Synergy is HPE OneView, which provides the architecture with the ability to integrate with the broad and deep installed base of multivendor products that make up enterprise IT, partners said.

That is a big differentiator for HPE, said Ashby. "HPE is pouring a tremendous amount of development into continuing to evolve OneView," he said. "They are adding capabilities all the time. The 3.0 version is going to be really spectacular."

Kevin Corcoran, vice president of sales and operations for Storage IT Solutions, a Cary, Ill., HPE partner, said his company decided to make a bet on Synergy because of Avnet's commitment to help drive the Storage IT Solutions-HPE partnership.

"We wouldn't have made the bet on HPE Synergy without Avnet standing behind the product," said Corcoran. "Avnet is acting as the liason between us and HPE. They are helping us navigate through HPE to make sure we get what we need each step of the way. And they are helping us drive new HPE opportunities."

Ultimately, Synergy could be the catalyst to kick the Storage IT Solutions-HPE relationship into high gear, said Corcoran. "We hope it's going to be a game-changer," he said.

In addition to the technical training and enablement, Avnet is supporting partners with a team of more than 100 employees in the U.S. dedicated to DevOps and Cloud, said Jim Burdick, director of HPE Solutions at Phoenix-based Avnet. "We have the skill set to support the entire discussion and deployment for Synergy," he said. "It's a tremendously strong hybrid and private cloud practice that can work directly with partners to conduct assessments or provide assistance in deployment and implementations."

The partner excitement, energy and activity around Synergy rates at the top of the HPE charts over the last several decades, said Greg Peterson, vice president of HP Solutions at Avnet Technology Solutions. "Partners are more excited about this technology than anything I have seen in a long, long time," he said.

With the launch of the Synergy training offensive, Avnet has already had 400 visits to its HPE composable infrastructure website and more than 600 views of its Brainshark training modules, said Peterson.

"What is really exciting about Synergy is it has been built from the ground to be composable," said Peterson. "There is not another architecture that can do what this platform can do. This gives HPE and its partners a distinct advantage over what is out there."

The newly independent HPE is firing on all cylinders while competitors are grappling with major transitions, said Peterson. "HPE has a level of stability and clarity that doesn't exist at other companies," he said.