Avnet Waiting For StorageTek Plan

The Tempe, Ariz.-based distributor has told solution providers that they may not be able to source StorageTek products through Avnet if they also buy Sun Microsystems products through another distributor in the wake of the Sun/StorageTek merger, according to several solution providers.

Sun maintains a closed distribution model in which solution providers sign a two-year contract with one distributor. Avnet is not an authorized distributor for Santa Clara, Calif.-based Sun's legacy products but is hoping to change that, said Fred Cuen, president of Avnet Technology Solutions Americas.

“We are excited about selling more storage products with Sun. We hope that can be a reality in the near future,” Cuen said. “We have been demonstrating to them that as a storage-only practice, we can help them.”

Avnet is not looking to sell Sun servers and compete against Access Distribution and MOCA, Cuen said.

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Mark Graham, general manager of Network Storage, an Indianapolis-based solution provider, said he has not heard from Avnet nor Sun about its future distribution strategy but recently signed with Access Distribution, Englewood, Colo., in the event that he has to sever his Avnet relationship for StorageTek products.

“I did not proactively go out to look for a new distributor, but it was something we had to do as a short-term solution or to begin a long-term solution without Avnet,” he said.

Despite the threat of losing some StorageTek customers, Avnet’s overall business with the vendor is growing, Cuen said. He would not detail specific growth, but said, “Our sales momentum with this particular brand has not decelerated. We continue to do very well.”

Avnet is selling more StorageTek to non-Sun partners as well as recruiting new customers, Cuen said. “We may find [new StorageTek] partners in our new health-care vertical, providing a solution to gain greater lift,” he said. “At the end of the day, customers don’t buy a thing, they buy a solution.”