Avnet sees partner opportunity around Unix server consolidation

Looking to broaden its consolidation impact assessment (CIA) program to cover a wider swath of the data centre, Avnet Technology Solutions has expanded the program to support HP Unix business-critical server environments.

The Phoenix, Ariz.-based value-added distributor used its annual HP Partner Summit to make the announcement. The CIA program helps Avnet’s reseller partners grow their server consolidation practices with a methodology for industry standard server, storage consolidation and now Unix server consolidation assessments.

Rick Alvarez, vice-president and general manager of the HP Solutions group, Avnet Technology Solutions, Americas, says consolidation and virtualization is a huge growth market right now for the channel.

“Reducing costs is a big driver right now for the end-user,” said Alvarez. “Any efficiencies in their data processing environment is a huge driver for them.”

The CIA program sees Avnet provide marketing and demand generation services aimed at uncovering and qualifying opportunities for partners in virtualization and consolidation space, often through industry seminars where an attendee signs-up for an assessment. The assessments are conducted by staffers from both Avnet and the VAR partner to evaluate the client environment, develop a consolidation plan, and present it to the client.

“It’s a really terrific builder of sales opportunities,” said Alvarez, adding some 250 assessments were done last year in the Americas.

The primary focus had been the blade market, consolidating and virtualizing Intel servers with HP c-Class blades and VMware in the enterprise space of 100 or more servers. With the release of HP’s “shorty” mid-market blade, however, Alvarez says Avnet will me able to offer cost-justified solutions in smaller environments of 10 servers and up.

“We’re going to be going after more of the mid market opportunity, partnering with HP and our VARs to get at that market,” said Alvarez.

And with the expansion of the CIA program to Unix server consolidation, using HP’s Integrity solution, Alvarez says Avnet and its VAR partners will now be able to take an enterprise-wise approach to server consolidation and virtualization, including storage, desktops and servers.

“A VAR can go into end-user and say ‘hey, I can look at your whole environment, from the Unix server to the Intel sever, to your storage environment to your desktop, and provide recommendations to you that will result in improvements to your IT environment,’” said Alvarez.

HP growth

Speaking to Avnet’s HP partners, Alvarez says they’re seeing strong growth in industry standard servers. Recent acquisitions have given partners the chance to sell a broader like of HP software, and HP’s investments in storage have led to 40 per cent year over year growth in the last two quarters for Avnet. He adds partners have also been taking good advantages of HP’s services offerings to drive additional revenue from hardware sales.

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
A veteran technology and business journalist, Jeff Jedras began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the booming (and later busting) Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal, as well as everything from municipal politics to real estate. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada. He would go on to cover the channel as an assistant editor with CDN. His writing has appeared in the Vancouver Sun, the Ottawa Citizen and a wide range of industry trade publications.

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