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Avnet extends EMEA relationship with Cisco

Belux: multispecialist Avnet has extended its operations in EMEA with Cisco, to include Belgium and Luxembourg.

The announcement builds on the existing relationship between Avnet and Cisco, providing Avnet with the opportunity to extend its footprint and deliver Cisco's portfolio of data centre products to Belgium and Luxembourg, for the benefit of partners and their end-user customers. In EMEA, Avnet also distributes Cisco products in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Marc van Ierland, country manager for Avnet Technology Solutions BeNeLux, comments, "We have built up a portfolio of partners that have supported Cisco in becoming a leader in the data centre server market. This relationship has given Avnet's partners access to innovative technologies to create next-generation data centres for their customers, particularly through the use of Cisco's integrated infrastructure systems. Also, earlier this year, we celebrated Avnet and Cisco's fifth anniversary of partnership in the data centre market globally, and are proud to have a relationship with Cisco that is going from strength to strength."

Hugo Detremmerie, head of the Cisco BeLux Partner Organization, said, "We know we can rely on Avnet to help us successfully grow the data centre business in Belgium and Luxembourg, thanks to its very strong converged portfolio and the experience it has already gained working with us in the rest of Europe. Avnet's expertise from working in Belgium and Luxembourg is invaluable to helping us grow our portfolio of data centre products in those new technology markets. Furthermore, Avnet's deep technical data centre experience and sophisticated integration capabilities, thanks to its integration centre in Tongeren, Belgium, complete the significant value-add that Avnet offers as our IT solutions distributor."

Avnet has received multiple awards for helping Cisco successfully grow its data centre business, including Cisco's Global Distribution Partner of the Year in 2013 and 2014 and Cisco's Data Centre Distributor of the Year in EMEA in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Avnet announces VP for Core Suppliers and Technology Groups, EMEA

Multispecialist Avnet has appointed Marcus Adä to the newly created position of vice president for core suppliers and technology groups for the Technology Solutions operating group (TS) in the EMEA region. Adä reports to Graeme Watt, president, Avnet Technology Solutions, EMEA.

In this role, Adä's primary responsibility is to strengthen the relationships with Avnet Technology Solutions key suppliers in EMEA and drive business development in the company's focus technology areas. He will work closely with Dieter Lott, Avnet vice president of strategic development and planning for TS EMEA, who is responsible for the strategic imperatives pertaining to next-generation technologies, high-growth customer segments and IT services.

Watt said, "Marcus's appointment creates incremental bandwidth and emphasis to align with our core suppliers and co-ordinate sales programs and business development initiatives through the EMEA region. In parallel, the appointment enables us to further focus on customers, particularly in high-growth segments, and deliver a clear value proposition around our solutions and services for next-generation technologies. Marcus is highly regarded in the IT distribution market and we welcome him as an integral member of the Avnet TS EMEA executive team."

Adä has worked in the IT industry for 25 years with a strong sales emphasis on value-add and solutions distribution in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. He was previously managing director at Tech Data Germany and most recently, Ingram Micro's vice president central region. He is based in Munich, Germany.

Avnet receives the Juniper Networks DACH Distributor of the Year 2015 award

Multispecialist Avnet has been awarded the "DACH Distributor of the Year 2015" by Juniper Networks, through its offices in Austria, Germany and Switzerland.

The award was received by Avnet at the Juniper Networks DACH Partner Summit. With this award, Juniper paid tribute, firstly, to Avnet's commitment to implementing the Juniper Flexible Data Centre, a mobile data centre which can be configured by Avnet to customer specification and will be available to partners beginning in January 2016. Secondly, the award highlighted the favourable market growth and Avnet's dedicated Juniper Networks team, whose skill and flexibility in managing projects and looking after partners' needs helped secure this award.

James K. Worrall, Juniper Networks area partner director Europe, and Alex Weber, Juniper Networks regional partner director DACH & Eastern Europe, presented the award to Herbert Leven, Avnet business unit manager Security & Networking Solutions, who received it on behalf of Avnet's Juniper Networks team.

"Because of the team's flexible working methods, solutions-based approach and consistent implementation activity, for example with the Juniper Flexible Datacentre, our 2015 ‘DACH Distributor of the Year' is Avnet Technology Solutions Germany," said Worrall.

Leven responded, "We're really proud of this award. It demonstrates the hard work and commitment shown by Avnet's Juniper Networks team. It is also proof that when it comes to our partner development and solutions strategy, we're on the right track, supplying our partners with Juniper Networks solutions and working with them to evolve these for future requirements."

Avnet unveils next-generation cloud marketplace

American multispecialist Avnet has launched Avnet Cloud Marketplace. This one-stop shop offers comprehensive solutions from major cloud service providers, flexible payment models and a powerful cloud management toolset. Unique within the IT distribution industry, the Avnet Cloud Marketplace provides the ability for partners in Canada and the US to offer cloud-based services to their customers through both consumption- and subscription-based models and create branded storefronts to offer complete solutions to their customers.

"IDC believes that the majority of CIOs are moving to a cloud-first strategy when investing in new technology, which means that all the value-added resellers (VARs), independent software vendors (ISVs), managed service providers (MSPs) and other solution providers out there have to adopt a cloud-first strategy also," said Darren Bibby, vice president, Channels and Alliances Research, IDC. "Avnet's Cloud Marketplace offers partners options when it comes to the deployment of cloud solutions with both consumption- and subscription-based models, letting partners select what may be right for their customers."

The Avnet Cloud Marketplace is the latest evolution in Avnet's deep in-house cloud capabilities. It was designed based on Avnet's expert insights gained through its role in deploying more than 900,000 workloads in the cloud in the past two years alone across a range of public, private and hybrid cloud environments.

As a result, the Avnet Cloud Marketplace features functionality for all levels of the cloud ecosystem, including VARs, ISVs, MSPs, systems integrators (SI), technology manufacturers and end users. It provides the ability to architect and manage cloud solutions, while still enabling rapid deployment by maintaining a connection to cloud providers for real-time provisioning and billing. VARs, ISVs and MSPs will additionally benefit from the opportunity to create branded storefronts though the Avnet Cloud Marketplace. This will allow them to quickly and cost-effectively expand their offerings, transforming them into the single-source cloud provider and the trusted advisor customers are asking for.

"Services-based delivery is rapidly impacting the way businesses consume technology, and channel partners must be able to develop and implement cloud strategies with ease to ensure their long-term viability," said Sergio Farache, senior vice president of Avnet's Solutions and Strategy business unit in the Americas. "The Avnet Cloud Marketplace is the latest example of how Avnet is helping our partners capitalize on next-generation technologies as they evolve to ensure their own long-term success in the rapidly changing technology market."

Tim FitzGerald, vice president of Avnet's Cloud Solutions business in the Americas, continued, "We developed the Avnet Cloud Marketplace to take our channel partners to new heights in the cloud computing market. They now have access to a single resource to easily offer their customers a selection of industry-leading services and providers, the ability to incorporate them into existing infrastructure, and seamless management and optimization of multiple cloud services for maximum efficiency. These capabilities, coupled with the ability to create branded storefronts, perfectly positions our partners to meet their customers' needs."

The Avnet Cloud Marketplace is based on Avnet's digital distribution strategy, which focuses on providing a combination of digital tools, processes and services that simplify the cloud and services provisioning, and operational and financial requirements, while reducing costs and providing scale throughout the entire cloud ecosystem.

"Our customers are turning to the cloud because of its potential to help them overcome rising IT costs and address growing data center demands; however, to achieve this promise our customers need to be able to purchase and implement cloud solutions quickly and easily," said Todd Gallina, vice president of marketing for Trace3, a technology solutions provider and an Avnet partner. "With the introduction of its new cloud marketplace and its branded storefront capabilities, Avnet is empowering us to become a single-source cloud provider. Our customers will be able to turn to us for complete cloud solutions that they can purchase when and how they want while streamlining cloud management."

The Avnet Cloud Marketplace expands beyond allowing partners and their customers to buy, bill and order cloud services. For example, it also has a full set of tools powered by the Avnet Cloud Toolset to help partners and their customers manage and optimize the cloud services purchased. As a part of this, the Avnet Cloud Marketplace offers dashboards that give partners and their customers access to real-time, full-detail cloud usage with drill-down capabilities to better understand what services are being consumed by whom, as well as where they are being consumed. It also has analytics capabilities to assess cloud spending and provide recommendations on changes the customer can make to save money, as well as analysis on security risks and recommendations on best practice changes to remove potential vulnerabilities in customers' environments.

Additionally, the Avnet Cloud Marketplace features self-guided purchasing and provisioning. With this capability, customers will be able to get up and running quickly to access the cloud services needed for their businesses. The ease of use of the Avnet Cloud Marketplace will be enhanced with flexible payment models. By offering more software-based products and both consumption- and subscription-based models, the Avnet Cloud Marketplace provides a one-stop shop for all budgets to maximize cloud spending. This is further enhanced by capability for VARs, ISVs and MSPs to provide white-label marketplaces to their customers where they can bundle cloud offerings with their own IP and services, and tailor solutions to their customers' unique needs and business environments.

The Avnet Cloud Marketplace represents a full range of industry-leading cloud and technology provider solutions that can be combined and managed together for greater efficiency. The Avnet Cloud Marketplace will feature infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS), and software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings. In addition, partners will be able to access bundled cloud products to meet their customers' needs and increase cost efficiency.

Avnet has also developed integrated cloud packages that combine technologies that are designed, deployed and billed together with cloud infrastructure in a unified solution. These packages are designed around the workloads that are in the highest demand among customers. Avnet's integrated cloud packages help channel partners expand their cloud solutions portfolio, accelerating their time to market and simplifying implementation.

Partners and their customers will also benefit from Avnet's ecosystem-focused approach to the cloud. Avnet creates a seamless link between suppliers, cloud service providers, partners, ISVs and end customers. To provide scale in this ecosystem, Avnet's model solves the operational challenges of the complete cloud value chain and aggregates value at each step. Avnet helps its partners be more efficient and concentrate their efforts on providing solutions and value. Avnet also simplifies access to complementary technologies, the financial model transition, the operational model and a go-to-market strategy.

The Avnet Cloud Marketplace is part of Avnet Cloud Solutions, which helps partners and customers transform IT with data center automation and cloud solutions that embrace new consumption models and enable services delivery. With Avnet's continuing commitment to innovation, the team plans to expand and introduce new elements to the Avnet Cloud Marketplace that will capitalize and enhance on the company's solutions-based approach and accelerate the business results of the entire cloud ecosystem.

Westcon opens up about Romanian outsourcing move

Distributor Westcon has revealed a business process outsourcing (BPO) firm with operations in Romania will take charge of some of its EMEA finance and operations functions. Parent company Datatec announced yesterday that 300 of Westcon's 1,900 EMEA staff would be affected by a "BPO transformation" of its EMEA operations.

Westcon senior vice president David Grant revealed a phased migration of the functions in question will occur between now and mid-2017 and insisted service levels for resellers would not be affected. Although Grant was not in a position to divulge Westcon's BPO partner, he described it as a global outfit "in the top-right of the Gartner Magic Quadrant". "We separated our activities into those we see as transactional and those that add value to the customers and vendors," he said. "Anything that is very transactional we have decided to outsource to another organisation as it gives us scale and efficiency."

The outsourcing project will run alongside Westcon's impending European implementation of a global SAP project, Grant said, adding that affected employees may be offered other roles in the organisation. "It is not a case of everything changing on day one," he said. "Where roles are affected we will give people significant advance notice, as it's the responsible thing to do. We are growing, and while some transactional roles will be eliminated from the business, some new opportunities will be created so we will take as much time as we can to retrain and redeploy staff where it is appropriate to us."

Westcon, which operates through the Comstor and Westcon brands, has order-processing staff in 42 countries in EMEA, Grant said, adding that any staff whose roles are displaced will be offered the choice of staying on to help with the migration. Employee and other fees associated with the migration will cost parent Datatec about €11.5m in its current financial year.

Rival distributor Ingram Micro centralised more EMEA back-office functions to Sofia in Bulgaria last year.

Grant said it made more sense for Cisco, Avaya, Polycom, Juniper and Check Point partner Westcon to partner with a BPO outfit with knowledge of the region. "We have chosen an organisation where it is their core business to provide business processes and support," he said. "We are not experts in sourcing a facility or finding local language specialists and training them on what we do."

Romania, which is where the BPO firm in question will carry out Westcon's transactional work, was ranked fourth in an index of the top global BPO locations this year carried out by Cushman & Wakefield, behind Vietnam, the Philippines and Bulgaria. Grant emphasised that Westcon's "core value-add" will be retained in-house and claimed that neither customer service levels nor its ability to execute would be affected by the move. "Our top 10 vendor partners have all offered to make sure there is good knowledge transfer and are helping to train our BPO staff," he said. "If you think about it, most of our major vendors have some part of their organisation that is outsourced so are completely familiar with what support they can give us."

Graeme Watt, EMEA president at rival distributor Avnet Technology Solutions, confirmed his company has also made some steps towards centralising transactional functions, "but nothing like on the scale we are seeing with Westcon". "It is fair to say that everybody is looking to see how much of that non-technical, more run-rate, transactional operations they can centralise," he said. "We have been talking about it for a while and we will centralise functions and operations where we think it makes sense and keep things local where we think it makes sense." (source: Channelweb United Kingdom).


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