Avnet Reinvents Compass 2012 for IBM Training, Certification
It’s not a phenomenon but count Avnet Technology Solutions (ATS) among core distributors devoting entire channel events to vendor-specific training and certification.
ATS, Avnet’s (NYSE: AVT) distribution arm, is set to kick off a new training program targeted at analytics, cloud and expert integrated systems with tailored education for channel partners pursuing IBM technical certifications, including the vendor’s PureSystems platform.
The distributor plans to launch the educational offering at its upcoming Compass 2012 event, slated for Aug. 5-8 in San Antonio. Avnet expects 250 attendees at the affair, marketed as the distributor’s premier education event for IBM solutions. In promotional material for the conference, Avnet said that it has reinvented its former Partner Summit “to focus on education and certifications addressing the growing needs of our partner channel.”
Indeed, a big selling point for the Avnet event is that its IBM channel partners will be able to prepare for some 15 IBM certification tests, including sales and technical certifications — most notably for the vendor’s PureSystems platform — as well as Power Systems, software, storage and System x.
An onsite certification lab with discounted certification exams will be available to channel partners who want to take immediate advantage of the training. Avnet contends that it is the first IBM-sanctioned sales and technical certification training for the PureSystems platform.
While distributors have assumed the partner education mantle for some time, the effort has become even more pronounced as channel partners have honed in on data center and enterprise sales.
“We redesigned our annual IBM business partner event to focus on a growing need in the IT channel for intensive sales and technical training to prepare for certifications,” said Mark Martin, ATS vice president, IBM Solutions Group Marketing and Business Development.
One Avnet channel partner, Vertical VAR, a Chamblee, Ga.-based IBM specialist, said it plans to send six team members to the event. “It is always challenging to have members of the sales and technical team away from our business,” said Tom Lewis, Vertical VAR president. “However, the training offered at Compass this year will provide tremendous value, and an efficient way to combine product education and required certification testing.”’
Avnet also has reserved some time at the event for channel partners to familiarize themselves with new services it now offers through Ascendant Technology, an IBM solutions specialist it acquired in March. The distributor said it will showcase services such as its Healthcare Provider Portal, Middleware Infrastructure Automation and Social Business in the Cloud.