Scenes From Avnet's IBM Partner Conference

Avnet IBM Conference

Avnet held its annual IBM conference in San Antonio last week, attracting hundreds of Big Blue partners. Fred Cuen, senior vice president and general manager of Avnet's IBM Solutions Group, served as master of ceremonies and kicked off the event talking about Avnet's long relationship with IBM, which is now celebrating its 25th year.

Solutions Strategy

Tony Vottima, Avnet's vice president of solutions marketing and development, also talked about IBM and Avnet's relationship and the distributor's SolutionsPath methodology, which enables partners to become trusted providers and get deeper into vertical markets, Vottima said. It complements IBM's strategy to provide more specific solutions to customers, he added.

IBM Road Map

Rich Hume, general manager of IBM Global Business Partners and Midmarket, laid out IBM's four-pronged strategy through 2015: IBM Smarter Planet, analytics, cloud and growth markets. He pledged to help get partners more educated in those areas and to generate more demand on behalf of VARs to help them succeed.

VirtualPath Award

Avnet and IBM handed out four awards to solution providers for their success in the distributor's primary SolutionsPath areas. Here, Gary Sharp, vice president of E-Safe Technologies (second from right) receives the VirtualPath Trusted Advisor Award from Avnet's Mark Martin, vice president of marketing and business development, and Tony Vottima, senior vice president of marketing and development, and Sandy Carter (at right), vice president of Software Business Partners and Mid-Market at IBM.

GovPath Award

Avnet presented the GovPath Trusted Advisor award to Irene Wallace, (second from right), business development manager at Provista Software. She is pictured with, (from the left), Avnet's Martin and Vottima and IBM's Carter.

HealthPath Award

Avnet presented the HealthPath Trusted Advisor award to Steve Sigg, (second from right), CEO of Software Information Systems. He is pictured with, (from the left), Avnet's Martin and Vottima and IBM's Carter.


Don Edwards, (second from right), managing partner of The Broadleaf Group, accepts the SecurePath Trusted Advisor Award, along with Avnet's Martin and Vottima and IBM's Carter.

Healthy Living

Dan Pelino, general manger of IBM's Global Healthcare and Life Sciences Industries, detailed IBM's strategy in that market and told VARs they need to understand what CIOs of healthcare companies are facing today.


Avnet's Brian Young and Ken Willard catch up at the Solutions Expo Reception, where more than 20 vendors showcased their solutions.

Big Blue Bunch

(From the left), IBM's Bob Kalka, Heidi Munin, Sue Ewig and Jocelyn Urdahl, pause for a pose during the Solutions Expo Reception.

In Sales We Trust

Jeffrey Gitomer, author of numerous business books including "The Sales Bible," "The Little Red Book of Selling," "The Little Black Book of Connections," and "The Little Gold Book of YES! Attitude," spoke to VARs in an interactive session about how to improve their sales tactics. His tips include making sure you listen to customers and understand what your company is trying to achieve.

Fearsome Foursome

And what's a reseller event without a little golf thrown in? This foursome includes, (from the left): Jeff Teeter, a vice president at Logicalis; Craig Rock, president of Paradigm Technology; Jack Morris, vice president of sales at Avnet; and Sam Fatigato, president of Ascendant Technology.