Avnet Technology Solutions and Hewlett-Packard are promoting managed storage services into midsize businesses. The partnership, expected to be announced later today, involves HP's Electronic Vaulting Services -- which feature off-site data backup and recovery services for a monthly fee.
Avnet's partnership with HP is the latest example of distributors polishing their managed services strategies.
Avnet Technology Solutions (ATS) and HP plan to jointly manage the sales channel for this partner engagement. HP's Electronic Vaulting Services will be hosted in Avnet OnTech Services' tier 4, SAS70 data center, according to a press release from both companies.
I wonder if ATS will ink similar partnerships with Sun Microsystems Inc. and IBM Corp.
If ATS and Sun are working on an MSP strategy, the details will likely surface at New Frontiers, an annual ATS conference for Sun partners, scheduled for August 18-21 in Colorado. Sun is working overtime to promote Solaris and MySQL (the fast-growing open source database) as ideal hosting platforms.
A week after the Sun-centric conference, ATS will host Ignition -- a partner conference for IBM solutions providers -- August 24-28 in San Antonio.
Distributors Make Their MovesIn the meantime, ATS and HP are entering an increasingly crowded MSP solutions market.
For instance, Tech Data already resells a range of MSP platforms through its Tech Data VARChoice initiative. Meanwhile, Ingram Micro's Seismic strategy offers a range of hosted services that VARs can brand as their own. (Check out this podcast with Ingram VP Justin Crotty, who discusses Seismic and the broader MSP industry.)
Still, many VARs have yet to test the MSP waters. It's a safe bet those solutions providers will turn to their distributors for guidance. And much like VARs themselves, some distributors see managed services as a way to generate recurring revenue that offsets slim hardware margins.