Avnet Boosts Hosted Apps with New SharePoint Offering

Cloud computing services are increased as Avnet sees demand for hosted applications such as Exchange and SharePoint growing among enterprise users. VARs could build an incremental revenue stream.

November 18, 2008

Al Senia

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Distributor Avnet Technology Solutions, a division of Avnet Inc. (NYSE: AVT), has rolled out for its VARs a new Software-as-a Service (SaaS) offering around SharePoint in a bid to boost its managed service portfolio.

The action, according to Avnet executives, is centered on helping Avnet's VARs build a revenue stream with Avnet's OneTech Hosted SharePoint services. SharePoint is becoming more popular with business users. With the latest SaaS effort, VARs will be able to use SharePoint as a vehicle to provide business customers with a highly secure, central location where employees can efficiently collaborate with team members, find organizational resources, manage content and workflow, and gain the business insight needed to make better-informed decisions. The new service is designed to help partners expand their managed-service portfolios and gain incremental revenue using SharePoint..

It also underscores the growing significance of SaaS, cloud computing and managed services among channel partners, who are using the technologies to help business users control their costs.

"This is a reasonable new technology that is growing fast," explained Tony Vottima, vice president, Americas, Solutions Marketing and Development group. "We want to take advantage of this growth we are seeing in cloud computing."
Vottima added that more customers are getting interested in hosted application management, which he termed "the fastest-growing segment in managed services." The healthcare and government markets are particularly interested in the hosted, SaaS model, he said.

"As cloud computing continues to become more mainstream, there will be an increasing demand for partners to manage their customers' IT infrastructure in new and different ways," Vottima added. He said Avnet's OneTech Hosted SharePoint services are a "perfect way" for channel partners to introduce customers to the SaaS model.
Avnet's OneTech Hosted SharePoint, which builds on a Hosted Exchange practice introduced earlier this tear, enables partners to help business customers create, manage and build collaborative web sites and make them available throughout the organization securely over a web infrastructure. The services are offered on a scaleable, pay-per-use model with a predictable monthly cost based on customers' project needs. That aspect has proven particularly popular with businesses during the current downturn, Vottima noted.

Avnet announced the SharePoint offering at its Technology Solutions' HP Partner Summit this week in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Charles Moore, vice president and SharePoint practice manager for Pinnacle, a VAR, said the new offering would help him provide customers with more guidance on how to utilize their IT resources.

At the conference, Avnet also announced new services to help Avnet's HP VARs cost-effectively recruit personnel for their businesses. The new Talent Acquisition Referral Services (TARS) provides a dedicated resource team to help channel partners walk through the recruiting and hiring process.
Under the program, each participating channel partner works with a dedicated Avnet program manager who provides guidance in the various aspects of the recruiting and hiring process, including creating, posting and managing job descriptions; developing a strategy for resume submission, reviews and interviews; conducting pre-screening calls with qualified candidates; providing the partner with a short-list of qualified candidates; and managing and completing background checks.

(Al Senia is managing editor of ITChannelPlanet.com)



TAGS: cloud computing,SaaS,SharePoint,managed services,Avnet

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