Avnet Technology Solutions: Warming Up to Sun Open Source
As Sun Microsystems polishes its channel strategy for MySQL and open source, Avnet Technology Solutions (ATS) is evaluating ways to work more closely with Sun and its partners on the open source initiatives. Here’s the scoop, only from The VAR Guy.
First, some background: Sun earlier this week announced new components to its partner program, which aim to accelerate deployments of the GlassFish Application Server, MySQL, OpenSolaris and xVM VirtualBox.
Meanwhile, ATS is one of Sun’s most strategic channel partners. It begged the question: Would ATS jump in the open source pool with Sun? The VAR Guy went looking for answers, and found a few when he spoke with Mike Hurst, VP and general manager of the Sun Solutions Group at ATS.
“The download volume [for MySQL and other Sun open source offerings] is tremendous,” says Hurst. “But we have to figure out how we can execute and monetize that momentum.”
Going Vertical, And Virtual
Among the possibilities: ATS is seeking to identify areas where MySQL and other Sun open source applications are ideal fits in the government and health care industries — two core verticals for ATS, notes Hurst.
Similarly, ATS has strong business practices in storage, virtualization and unified communications. There again, certain Sun open source efforts — such as xVM VirtualBox — could gain momentum with ATS’s network of Sun solutions providers.
Hurst concedes that the open source opportunities are a work in progress. But much of the open source channel work started at the Avnet Technology Solutions New Frontiers conference in August 2008. Tom Wagner, VP of Sun’s North American sales organization, had a dialog with attendees about open source opportunities, notes Hurst. (Here’s some more background on Wagner, from CRN.)
“Now we’re getting closer to formalizing the opportunity with programs and a path for Sun partners to grow and expand” with open source solutions, adds Hurst.
Translation: This is a work-in-progress for ATS (and Sun, for that matter), folks. Many big distributors were late to the open source game. But ATS is very serious about identifying exactly where and how Sun’s open source portfolio fits into ATS’s business strategy.