Avnet Launches Program to Help VARs Improve Business Processes

By Al Senia

June 25, 2008

Avnet Technology Solutions has launched a comprehensive three-phase program designed to help select VAR partners optimize their businesses and improve their profitability. The new Channel Optimization program focuses on enhancing the skills’ C-level executives at Avnet's VAR partners.

"We have started this program to enhance our value proposition and deliver on our brand promise to our partners," said Cheryl Neal, director of marketing for Avnet Technology Solutions Americas’ Enterprise Software and Storage Solutions group. "It’s a great tool for our partners, and if we help to make their businesses more sustainable and profitable, we will improve our own business and that of their vendors."

There is no cost for VARs to obtain the specialized training. Neal said participants are chosen by Avnet based on their potential for strong revenue growth. "The only cost to the VARs is their time involved," Neal explained. "These are partners with high growth potential, typically in the $10 million to $100 million annual revenue range."

Avnet’s Enterprise Software and Storage Solutions group recently brought 28 CEOs and senior executives together in nearby Scottsdale, Ariz. to participate in small-group workshops at The Channel CEO Institute, the program's second phase. This segment involves workshops to help channel partners scale their businesses for increased transaction volume, extended market reach and incremental value. Workshops provide information about how to attract talent and how to enhance a service practice.

Neal said the initial phase of the program uses an online diagnostic tool called "The Channel Analyzer" that provides, after the VAR executives fill out a detailed online questionnaire, an individual assessment of the businesses, including a blueprint for optimizing revenue. The online assessment takes about three hours to complete.

The second phase involves two or three days of workshops at an offsite location. Neal said the distributor hopes to host three or for such programs within a year. The program's third phase involves four follow-up sessions with consultants that measure improvements over one year.

Neal said the C-level VAR executives who are the focus of the program “are talented, entrepreneurial individuals who recognize that their businesses can benefit by expanding their skill sets to better address business growth and changes." The program helps the businesses become more efficient and scalable.

Scott Rosenberg, CEO and founder of VAR Miro Consulting Inc. said the Avnet program has helped enhance his operations. “The visibility I gained into my business through Avnet’s Channel Optimization program was enlightening, to say the least," he said in a prepared statement. ”At the Channel CEO Institute, I’ve gained practical knowledge and easy-to-use tools that will help me take my company to the next level."

Much of the hands-on skill assessment is being provided for Avnet by Channel Savvy, a management consulting firm in Arizona focused on high-tech channels.

Avnet Technology Solutions is an operating group of Avnet Inc., a $6 billion distributor with locations in more than 30 countries. Avnet distributes electronic components, computer products and technology services and solutions to more than 70 countries worldwide.