Avnet's NetworkPath Aims At Data Center Opportunities

networking data center

The distributor's NetworkPath was designed to help VARs address application delivery, security, wired and wireless LAN switching, routing and network management, according to the Tempe, Ariz.-based distributor.

"It was developed to take advantage of the ever-growing market opportunities in networking and helping partners accelerate success in that market while minimizing their investment costs to develop a networking practice," said Domenic Gianfrancesco, director of network solutions, Avnet Technology Solutions, Americas. "We will provide the knowledge, skills to build a profitable and sustainable practice all while serving customer needs in wireless and wired LAN switching and more."

NetworkPath is the fourth initiative under Avnet's SolutionsPath brand, joining VirtualPath, StoragePath and SecurePath.

"When we set out on our solution/distribution journey, part of what was driving us to solution areas was to get to more high-growth opportunities for solution-selling VARs," said Tim FitzGerald, technology solutions practices leader, Avnet Technology Solutions, Americas.

Sponsored post

NetworkPath should help capitalize on Avnet's recent addition of Cisco Systems' Unified Computing System (UCS) products, said Gianfrancesco.

"We have a robust line card with Cisco and we also have a good relationship with HP Pro Curve. It gives us the No. 1 and No. 2 players in the industry. We're real excited about that," he said. "We also have relationships with F5 [Networks] in the application delivery and WAN optimization space and Aruba in the wireless space, and we have a long relationship with Extreme [Networks]."

Like its other SolutionsPath initiatives, NetworkPath offers market-specific training through NetworkPath University, NetworkPath Assessment Services to support VARs while they grow their own networking skills and NetworkPath Playbooks, which provide VARs with solutions templates to bring to customers.

"We're looking at our first NetworkPath University in the spring. There are certain topics we're looking at. One is a data center consolidation strategy. The other is in the converged network arena, where you're seeing customers look to converge their storage networks and Ethernet networks," Gianfrancesco said.

Avnet is targeting two reseller groups for NetworkPath, Gianfrancesco said. The first group has an existing networking practice and is looking to expand its data center opportunities. The second group is comprised of folks with server/storage practices who want to increase their networking skills to become more of a trusted IT adviser in the data center.

Bill Calderwood, president of The Root Group, a Boulder, Colo.-based solution provider, said his company falls in the first category. He envisions NetworkPath as a means to help understand where opportunities lie in order to better prioritize his prospecting and business development efforts.

"Avnet's done a good job in previous entrees into helping us figure out target markets. We think that's where the value will be," Calderwood said.

Avnet also hopes that the SolutionsPath groups can all be leveraged to help VARs in the data center.

"We believe our overall SolutionsPath applies to the data center. When you think of the data center fabric, it's virtualization, storage, networking, and of course, it all has to be secure. It's all about bringing the value to the data center in our minds," FitzGerald said.