Avnet, Savvis Launch Cloud Services for VARs, MSPs and ISVs
Avnet (NYSE: AVT) has partnered with Savvis (a top 100 cloud services provider) and also launched Avnet Cloud Solutions — a dedicated team that will help VARs, MSPs and ISVs to succeed with off-premise cloud solutions. Avnet Cloud Solutions, led by VP Tim FitzGerald (pictured), arrives as multiple distributors round out their cloud services and cloud aggregator strategies.
Avnet Cloud Solutions intends to assist partners in seven cloud services areas:
- productivity and collaboration;
- backup and disaster recovery;
- test and development;
- application hosting and management;
- remote management and monitoring; and
- data center as a service.
Avnet: A Closer Look
Tim FitzGerald has been named VP of the Avnet Cloud Solutions Group. FitzGerald, a long-time Avnet veteran, has spent the past few years helping VARs and MSPs to master virtualization as a path toward cloud computing. He has also championed Avnet CloudReady, a partner program that prepares VARs and MSPs for cloud opportunities.
Avnet’s seven focus areas for cloud partners appear on the mark, but it’s unclear how the company will deliver services in each of those seven areas. As part of today’s Avnet Cloud Solutions announcement, Savvis was the only cloud services provider (CSP) mentioned as a partner. But Savvis certainly is a big name in the cloud services market. Owned by Centurylink (NYSE: CTL), Savvis offers a range of hosted and managed applications to customers and channel partners. It’s a safe bet Avnet will help channel partners to tap into Savvis’s cloud services.
Still, I’m curious to know if Avnet plans to partner up with additional cloud services providers — especially in the areas of backup and disaster recovery, one of the first cloud markets MSPs typically target. FitzGerald declined to mention additional/potential partners during an interview with Talkin’ Cloud yesterday. But I suspect more details will emerge during CompTIA Breakaway (July 30-Aug. 2, Las Vegas). FitzGerald is scheduled to speak at that annual channel conference.
Distributors Adjusting for Cloud Computing
Numerous IT distributors have been launching cloud initiatives in the past year. In addition to Avnet Cloud Solutions, potential rival offerings include Arrow Fusion Cloud Services, Ingram Micro Cloud, Synnex CloudSolv, and Tech Data StreamOne and TDCloud.
In some cases, the distributor efforts are purely educational. In others, the distributor offerings involve reseller agreements with multiple CSPs. And in some cases, distributors are building out full-blown cloud aggregator portals — which allow VARs and MSPs to source multiple cloud services for customers, using a single dashboard for all purchasing, deployment and billing services.
The Avnet Cloud Solutions launch comes one week before Ingram Micro Cloud Summit (June 4-6, Scottsdale, Ariz). In addition to multiple third-party speakers, it’s safe to expect Ingram Micro Cloud aggregator service updates. (Disclosure: I’m scheduled to emcee main sessions at the conference.)
Overall, distributors are ramping up to assist VARs and MSPs with the cloud opportunity. But distributors are also dealing with some stunning market realities and inflection points. Among the biggest: Sales of servers are slowing down as customers transition workloads into the cloud. I’ve heard estimates that 10 percent of hardware sales through IT distribution could disappear over the next few years. With that potential reality in mind, it’s hardly surprising that distributors are trying to put their own unique stamp on the cloud computing market.