Avnet-IBM Partner Summit: Six Fireside Moves Worth Watching

Avnet-IBM Partner Summit: Six Fireside Moves Worth Watching

The VAR Guy is settling in quite nicely at the Avnet-IBM Partner Summit. For a poor, anonymous blogger, The VAR Guy seems to be living large at the event -- hosted at the JW Marriott resort in San Antonio, Texas. What does The VAR Guy expect to hear at the event? Sit back, relax and enjoy the setting as The VAR Guy describes six early observations from the Avnet-IBM conference.

First, the setting: Scores of IBM partners are here. Dozens of IBM and Avnet Technology Solutions executives also are here. But The VAR Guy's $10 jacket and bargain basement humor stand out in the crowd.

Checking for Clues

So, what's on tap for the next few days -- besides fireside wine? Hmmm... Some of the info is under NDA (in layman's terms: hush hush for now). But the event agenda includes the following clues:

1. Mid-market Forum: During the shuttle ride from the airport to the conference, The VAR Guy heard several solutions providers describe their key mid-market challenge. Specifically, they're tired of force-fitting enterprise software into mid-market customer settings. The VAR Guy is checking in with IBM to see if Big Blue has some perspective on the challenge.

2. Power Forum: It's not an Intel-only world. Avnet and IBM executives will describe where IBM's Power microprocessors are heading next. Talk about strong language: During the forum session, IBM is expected to describe "the key role the channel plays in IBM's plan to dominate the server market." Hmmm... Dominate? This could get interesting.

3. Services Forum: IBM Global Services executives will be on hand to describe Bib Blue's various service offerings. Yes, the agenda includes everything from basic maintenance to cloud services. The VAR Guy is checking to see if Avnet Technology Solutions will partner up with IBM on specific cloud activities.

4. Software Forum: The VAR Guy has trouble pinning down his weekly priorities. Apparently, the folks at Avnet are far more organized and have a longer time horizon. Sandy Carter, vice president, IBM Software Group Business Partners, is expected to share IBM's long-term software vision -- which extends out to 2015.

5. Storage Forum: Whether on-premise or in the cloud, storage is the gift that keeps on giving to VARs and resellers. The VAR Guy is checking in with both IBM and Avnet to see how the storage landscape will change.

6. Bonus -- Avnet's Balancing Act: Actually, item six is not on the agenda. But The VAR Guy does plan to explore how Avnet Technology Solutions balances major channel relationships with Cisco Systems, Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Oracle-Sun. After all, it's only been a few months since Avnet hosted a partner forum for Cisco Systems and Oracle-Sun solutions providers.

Stick around. Avnet is expected to deliver plenty of news on October 26. Just don't tell anyone in the meantime... since it's all under NDA.

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