Avnet’s UK head is planning to grow the distribution giant’s services business, but has assured resellers it will not be "eating their lunch".
John Toal, UK country manager of Avnet, said the distributor has a five-pronged strategy for services, all of which will help resellers rather than compete for business.
The first is renewals, which Toal said was a "big opportunity" for the distributor; second was Avnet’s consultancy business – which provides services to resellers that they can recharge to their clients as outsourced consulting; thirdly a 24/7 support desk aimed at both resellers and end users; fourthly Avnet’s training business and finally the cloud – for which the firm is planning a number of offerings under its ‘solution path’ strategy.
“None of our services are designed to eat the channel’s lunch – they very happily buy services from us, particularly the solutions partners that don’t want to carry hardware and middleware stocks,” he said.
Toal added there was definitely a market for distribution to get involved in the cloud, but stressed that it would be more of a cloud aggregator role.
“Our solution paths are bringing multi-vendor propositions together in the marketplace – such as virtualisation, UC and storage. We are always on the lookout for new and complementary technologies in those areas,” he added.
Avnet recently celebrated record Q2 results, and Toal said his former company Bell Micro (which Avnet acquired last year) had played a part in that success.
“We had a solid Q2 - everything grew and was in line with expectations. Bell has been a positive contributor to Avnet’s European results,” he said. “Clearly from a European perspective we have brought IBM to the table and also a significant Microsoft, HP and Symantec relationship as well.”
In terms of the integration of the two companies, Toal said the UK team was in place, and the final act would be to bring everyone together at the firm’s Bracknell premises, after former Bell HQ Chessington is closed down.
“This will happen by the summertime. We have already shut off both Bell back-office systems and have adopted the Avnet systems. We are planning for the moves to happen over the next two months. We will have completed the downsizing process by the end of April,” he said, adding the Bracknell building will house around 460 people.
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