Distributor Avnet announced the launch of a new cloud services offering that it says will fill a hole in its markets.
The company, which in New Zealand currently distributes for Oracle, Intermec and, more recently, Sony's health care solutions, says it is leveraging expertise gained from last year’s acquisition of ITX group, which had previously merged with hosted services provider ICO.
“Our core business is still fundamental solutions distribution,” says Michael Costigan, vice president of marketing and business innovation for Avnet Technology Solutions, Asia Pacific. “That’s 99.9 percent of our business to date. What we’re doing is filling a gap in the market. Our business partners have come to us and asked if we have access to cloud our services and solutions and that’s what gotten us to talk about converting ICO from direct sales to distribution.”
With its cloud service, Avnet is touting flexible business terms, branded or proprietary labelling, full-time, Level II customer support, 99.9999 percent uptime and a 100 percent channel focus.
The organisation has four datacentres in the APAC region, three in Australia and one in Singapore. Costigan says there are no plans at this time to open a datacentre in New Zealand, but that may change depending on demand.
“We’re not launching this to take over our distribution portfolio,” Costigan says. “It’s complementary, and at the moment it’s not a large part of our business, but if we are going to be a solutions distributor, we have to offer this service to New Zealand, because it is very good on the uptake of technology. My experience with the Kiwis apart from being good at rugby, is they’re ahead of the curve with technology.”
Avnet has a dedicated staff of three in New Zealand, two in Auckland, and one in Wellington, but Costigan says anticipated growth in its fiscal year 2013, which started in July, may require more staffing. The company has a dedicated sales team in Australia to train partners to sell cloud services.
Avnet is looking to bring other vendors it represents in Australia to New Zealand. Workflow solution provider Intermec, one of the three vendors Avnet distributes in New Zealand, recently announced that it was dropping a three year relationship with Sektor in New Zealand in to strengthen its alliance with its “existing distribution partner in the region”.
“By ending our relationship with Sektor, we will be able to better leverage our partnership with our existing distribution channel, making it easier than ever to distribute our solutions to Australian and New Zealand reseller partners,” says Tony Repaci, Intermec managing director for Australia and New Zealand, in a statement.
“As we go further into 2013, we’ll look to extend our footprint in New Zealand and the cloud services will be part of that,” says Costigan. “What we are looking to do is replicate, where we can, those supplier relationships we have in Australia. That will be key for us.”
Costigan did not specify what other vendors Avnet hoped to represent in New Zealand.
As for the cloud services offering, Costigan said this was in response to customer demand.
We had partners that came to us and said I have a customer who’s interested in the cloud but we don’t know anything about it,” he says. “So we started as a trusted advisor for the community and recommending what they can go to their partners to talk about.”
“We do all the technical support for them and we can go out and supply all the templates for the partner so they can re badge that as their own service and we’ll do the backending for them. It’s basically another service to enable our partners to become more successful.”