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Cloud Services division pays off for Avnet

Jennifer O'Brien | April 15, 2013
"The response from the channel is fantastic"

Eight months after hatching a new services division, Avnet Cloud Services, the company is already seeing strong uptake by resellers of its hosted private Cloud solutions.

Partners like the fact they are given a choice on how to resell and/or build Cloud services, Avnet general manager of services, Adam Chicktong, said.

"We've had great success in the early stages, and the response from the channel is fantastic," Chicktong said, explaining the company has already signed 20 partners to the program.

He said there's lots of questions and interest by partners, asking how to build a Cloud annuity business and gain recurring revenue, but there's also lots of confusion.

Types of partners coming to the table are a mix, he said, including traditional partners running their own mini datacentres, along with new partners trying to move into the Cloud broker role in the reseller space. ISVs, in particular, are looking to build out an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) offering to go along with the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offerings.

"We're in the enablement process, providing training and support. We're teaching them how to position services, how to sell, and how to remunerate sales reps."

He said a popular part of what Avnet Cloud Services offers is the ability to white label the service. Partners can resell an Avnet Cloud service, brand the service as their own, or do a combination of both. "We're trying to make it as easy and as flexible as possible. We are giving advice based on the business needs of the individual reseller."

Importantly, the company doesn't want to tread on the reseller's turf. "Our key thing is we don't want to compete with the channel - instead we are offering complementary offers. We are 100 per cent channel focused and in enabling partners. Our key goal is to help the channel build more solutions and services."

He said SaaS-based solutions are proving very popular with the channel. In order to build even more momentum, Avnet is going to aggregate different Cloud providers in a bid to give more offerings to the channel, and help partners sort through the puzzle. "Every Cloud vendor is different - where data is stored is different and there are different capabilities."

At the moment, hybrid Cloud is most popular with the Australian SMB and enterprise markets, he added. "People are looking to leverage their existing infrastructure and move some applications into the Cloud. Hybrid is the No.1 thing requested - customers want off-site Disaster Recovery [DR] or back-up Cloud. They want to dip the toe in the water, but don't want to put all their mission-critical stuff in the Cloud."

Cloud computing is here to stay and partners need to get ready for the business shift, he said. "We all see where the market is going. Cloud is the electricity of the future and people want to plug in - and partners need to get on-board. It will take a while to build annuity, but the early adopters will benefit in the years to come."

 

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