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Avnet launches end customer cloud workshops

New workshops and assessments will bring together the distributor, channel partners and customers to discuss cloud strategy

Avnet Technology Solutions (NASDAQ: AVT) has launched new cloud strategy workshops and assessments for end-user customers as part of its goal to help channel partners take on the cloud challenge.

The program is the newest addition to Avnet’s CloudReady initiative. “Certainly, education is a key component (of CloudReady),” said Dan Allaby, director of managed and cloud services for the distributor. “We really were looking for areas of opportunity to help accelerate our partners profitable growth.”

The additions to the program are to help channel partners answer the “I need a cloud strategy- what’s next?” question posed by chief information officers, he said. “They (partners) unanimously have come back saying they needed something to address that next step challenge,” he said, so these worksops and assessments are meant to help bridge discussion, strategy and implementation.

The new workshops will function as one-day basic education consultations among the partners, customers and Avnet itself on how customers can incorporate cloud computing into their data centres.

They’re also meant to help partners help customers understand their unique business challenges. “The goal of that session (the workshop) is to help them build the foundation around cloud,” Allaby said. “We’ll look at how we (Avnet) see cloud being developed.” The workshops and assessments won’t focus on any particular vendor.

The assessments entail a three-week on-site engagement with the end customer as a follow-up to the more basic workshop. “The workshop and the assessment are really designed to help…our partners address that issue with CIOs,” he said. “It’s not a technology conversation,” he added. Rather, it’s more about the business solution.

Last month, Avnet also launched cloud training for its partners as part of an overall strategy of getting in on the technology’s momentum. The program was “designed for partners who want to start positioning and selling cloud,” Allaby said. On the education front alone, Avnet has been getting good feedback from channel partners pleased with the distributor’s more “business aligned approach,” he added.  

Pricing for the workshops and assessments will vary depending on how much involvement the partner requires of Avnet, according to Allaby. For some smaller solution providers, Avnet will likely play a larger role, while other partners may take the lead on the consultations. “We’ll work with, through and for (partners),” he said.

The workshops are currently available in the U.S. and Canada, and Allaby said the assessment services should be in Canada by mid-September.