Avnet Technology Solutions in UK revamp

Don't just use us when you feel like it, we want a relationship

Avnet Technology Solutions is proposing to work with fewer channel customers which buy opportunistically, and throw its support instead behind those that want a "strategic relationship".

The US distie giant is trying to tap into a relatively a nebulous term in the channel - loyalty - and has formed customer facing business units for MSPs, OEMs, SIs and Strategic and Mid-market accounts.

Sukh Rayat, Avnet TS UK chief said it was "breaking up the pure silo model" that saw the business solely structured along vendor franchises.

"I have a goal to be more than 30 per cent of a customer's business. As you become more strategic to them they become more loyal, you rely on each other more and more. The silo approach limited that".

The four customer teams will sell the entire line card to the defined companies that fall under their unit, and Rayat reckons Avnet can "advise them, train them and improve their skills.

"If a customer is dealing with only one of our vendor units they will lose some of the resources and value Avnet can give them," he added.

The specialist sales teams working in the vendor business units including HP, IBM and Oracle will continue as before.

As part of the restructure, Denise Bryant, former UK boss at Magirus, acquired by Avnet in the summer, is managing vendors including Cisco, NetApp, VCE, EMC, HDS and the market strategy for tech convergence.

Laura Harman has been made sales director for independent software vendors, HP, networking and security and the dedicated sales team into the Strategic and Mid-market and SI accounts.

Christian Curtis becomes sales director for IBM, Oracle and all services business and David House will manage OEMs and MSPs.

Further ISV and multi-national accounts teams are also under consideration.

Rayat confirmed that solutions director Bruce Hockin and Unified Comms lead Peter Hannah are leaving the business.

Resources across the four new units have been redeployed from the generalist sales team and more will go across as demand grows.

The distributor said it isn't going to turn away business but claims to be less interested in resellers or other customers that order single units over the course of a year, "where there is no strategic alliance".

"Opportunistic customers that come and go, we'll support them but they may not see the true value of buying from Avnet - external resources and access to our Solutions Path."

A general rule of thumb is that roughly 400 UK resellers transact upwards of 80 per cent of the volumes in the entire channel.

Rayat said it will cover the largest players in the market but also wants to develop the up and coming giants of tomorrow. ®

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