Avnet Adds Vertical Market Solutions, Expands Strategy

Distributor to target data center opportunities in banking, energy/utilities, retail. Hires new executive to oversee vertical market solutions, craft strategy.

Avnet Technology Solutions, the distribution arm of Avnet Inc., said it will add vertical market-specific practices in banking, energy/utilities and retail to its existing lineup of SolutionsPath offerings and has hired an executive to enact its vertical market strategy.

The distributor said it has hired Mike Houghton as vice president of Vertical Market Solutions to oversee its new SolutionsPath practices. Houghton previously was with Direct Alliance Corp., a provider of business process outsourcing.

Avnet said it will launch the new SolutionsPath practices by the end of this year. The distributor currently maintains vertical market SolutionsPath portfolios in health care and government.

“We believe our strategy of enabling value-added reseller specialization will yield continued high-growth results for our partners as it has for the past four years,” said Tony Vottima, Avnet senior vice president, solutions marketing and development.

“Our goal is to continue to improve the capabilities of our partners and help them leverage those skills to solve the IT problems facing their customers,” he said. “

"We want to enable them to become trusted advisors so they can address all their customers’ IT needs by having the vertical market expertise that sets them above their competition.”

Distributor’s sales volume grows in selected vertical markets

Avnet said that it relied on market research and its own sales volume to identify banking, energy/utilities and retail as growth opportunities for solution providers.

The distributor said that its channel sales in banking and utilities have jumped significantly in the past year. It pointed to researcher Gartner Inc.’s data that pegs the markets in North America for banking at $54 billion, $40 billion for retail and $20 billion for energy/utilities. Gartner figures the compound annual growth rate from 2009 – 2014 at 5.7 percent for banking, 5.1 percent for retail and 4.5 percent for energy/utilities.

“Gartner has identified banking, energy/utilities and retail as strong growth markets for the technology channel,” said Tiffani Bova, Gartner vice president of research, IT Marketing and Channel Strategies Group.

“Value-added resellers and distributors who understand the nuances of these markets can differentiate themselves from other providers by offering business-focused and vertically relevant solutions and services,” Bova said.

One channel partner praised Avnet’s SolutionsPath vertical market offerings.

“Avnet’s SolutionsPath practices helped us create and deliver market-relevant technology solutions that address business needs and enabled us to strengthen our position as a strategic business advisor for our clients,” said Jeff Teeter, Logicalis Group vice president, vertical solutions.

“As a result, we’ve experienced growth of more than 30 percent in those focused markets during the past year,” he said.

TAGS: retail,Avnet,energy,banking,SolutionsPath

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