Avnet CEO Extends Open Invite to Cisco Systems
The VAR Guy spoke with Avnet CEO Roy Vallee (pictured) this week. During the conversation, Vallee expressed optimism that Avnet (the distribution giant) and Cisco Systems Inc. (the networking giant) would eventually work together. Here’s the scoop.
First, some background. August 2008 marked Vallee’s 10th year as Avnet’s CEO, and his 31st year with the company. Quite a run. But Vallee is looking ahead instead of looking back. The VAR Guy and his sister site, MSPmentor, will both offer some thoughts from Vallee over the next few days.
Get to the News, Please
Now for that tidbit about Cisco. When describing Avnet’s future opportunities, Vallee mentioned networking as a prime area for potential organic growth. When asked about Avnet’s current networking partners, Vallee conceded:
“It’s an A-B-C strategy. It’s All But Cisco.”
What? No relationship with Cisco? Why’s that? Vallee’s response:
“While we were building our server and storage relationships, Cisco was building their distributor relationships.”
As a result, Vallee conceded, Cisco and Avnet never got around to dancing with each other. Also, Vallee conceded that Cisco is very loyal to its current distribution partners.
Still, Vallee offered this confident perspective:
“I’m sure we will [have a relationship with Cisco] in the future. From a 100,000 foot level, we’re the leading value-added distributor in the world. And Cisco is the leading communications hardware company.”
Translation: These two giants are destined to work with one another, according to Vallee.
What does Cisco have to say about this? The VAR Guy has reached out to the folks at Cisco for some thoughts from Dave O’Callaghan, VP of Worldwide Distribution. Stay tuned.
If Cisco gets around to dialing Avnet, The VAR Guy can imagine Vallee’s response:
“You had me at hello.”