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Q and A: Avnet's Rick Hamada, William Chu and Darren Adams

Julia Talevski | March 18, 2015
Avnet's Rick Hamada and William Chu were in town to meet with key suppliers and partners and spoke about the changing landscape of the distribution market and how they're staying ahead

Recently announced a global distribution deal with EMC's VSPEX Blue, tell me more about that.
strong>WC: EMC is an important relationship for us globally, but we aren't an EMC distributor in every country, however with this new model, EMC have enabled us to represent them for VSPEX Blue in every country.

It's a new way of distribution, whereby they look at a distributor - not because of their local setup or how many people - they're looking at it as a global distribution deal and the capability that you have. It's not simple, because you're talking about 80 countries that TS represents, and for every country you have to workout the nitty gritty, who are the partners that you're going to market with. The existing distributor for EMC in certain countries will have to put their order through us and we will also support their local partner. This is a very innovative business model that may change the whole landscape and I see it as a very promising opportunity.

DA: Looking at Australia and our role in that, it makes a lot of sense to get that scale and leverage in the US, but there's an excellent facility here and we already do integration work with reverse logistics and support work in that facility. It's been designed with the future in mind. As momentum and value picks up, we're going to continue to think globally and act locally, where it makes sense.

What are some of the hot product areas?
RH: WIth Avnet Technology Solutions, in particular, it's converged solutions. Whether it's VCE, VBlock or FlexPods, it seems to be the preferred building block for datacentres today. I would also highlight our partnerships in areas such as networking and security, which continue to be high growth areas for us. Software and services is continuing to grow stronger for us on a global basis. Hardware still offers growth opportunities, but the software and services - their content mix is part of a total solution, is becoming more relevant to the types of solutions that our ecosystem is servicing going forward.

DA: There's an interesting area of storage that's developing. Certainly there's converged and hyper-converged, but we're seeing a bit of momentum around flash storage. Locally, we've done a lot of evaluation in this area and we've made a few new bets. We like to get deep and skilled in what we do, but nonetheless we see some good opportunities in the market there.


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