Avnet targets three new verticals: banking, energy/utilities and retail

Solutions distributor Avnet Technology Solutions (NYSE: AVT) is adding three new vertical markets to its <a href="http://www.ats.avnet.com/solutions/index.asp" target="_blank" SolutionsPath methodologies: banking, energy/utilities and retail. They’ll join the existing HealthPath and GovPath vertical offerings and should be available in North America by the end of the year.

The SolutionsPaths are designed to help partners quickly develop a business in high-growth vertical markets, and include market and technology training to help partners become trusted advisors in key markets. Avnet has also developed SolutionsPath Plabooks to help partners bring proven solutions to market drawing on technologies from across Avnet’s vendor line card.

In addition to adding the three new vertical focuses, Avnet has also hired Mike Houghton as vice-president of vertical market solutions to lead the strategic direction and growth of the new vertical market segments. Houghton comes to Avnet from Direct Alliance Corp., a business process outsourcer.

Tony Vottima, senior vice-president, solutions marketing and development for Avnet Technology Solutions Americas, said partners that joined Avnet’s other SolutionsPath verticals have achieved double-digit growth, and the message to Avnet from its partners has been to add more vertical focuses to help them develop the skills to target key vertical opportunities.

“We believe our strategy of enabling value-added reseller specialization will yield continued high-growth results for our partners as it has for the past four years,” said Vottima. “Our goal is to continue to improve the capabilities of our partners and help them leverage those skills to solve the IT problems facing their customers. We want to enable them to become trusted advisors so they can address all their customers’ IT needs by having the vertical market expertise that sets them above their competition.”

Vottima said banking, energy/utilities and retail were identified as key growth verticals based on market research and what Avnet is already seeing based on its own sales volumes as untapped market opportunities. In both banking and utilities, for example, he said Avnet has experience double-digit channel sales growth over the past year, a trend which should be strengthened with the new vertical focus. Energy and utilities has also become a focus for Cisco Systems, an Avnet vendor partner, which launched a number of energy-related initiatives recently at CiscoLive.

He added Avnet has no plans to add vendors to its linecard at present to support these new verticals, but that’s something the distributor will continue as it ramps-up the new SolutionsPaths and identifies any areas that need more support.

Follow Jeff Jedras on Twitter: @JeffJedrasCDN.

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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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