From a menu of over 80 existing and new services offerings, distributor Avnet Technology Solutions has announced plans to combine its offerings under a single umbrella – a focus on data centre lifecycle services.
Steve Kedzior, vice president and general manager of services for the Americas at Avnet, said the focus makes sense, given that many of the company’s existing services offerings are focused on the data centre.
“If you look at the acquisition services we’ve historically done as a channel, they’re there,” Kedzior said. “Then we go and we move up a step to the planning cycle, to the integration cycle, and that leads to managing the infrastructure, which leads to managed services, which leads to cloud services.”
However, there was a problem with Avnet’s services offerings, he says. With 80-plus different offerings, individual services were getting lost or ill communicated to the community.
As a result, Kedzior said the company will “massage the portfolio,” adding and potentially removing services as market demands and interests dictate – but keeping them all around the framework of the data centre, “a close adjacency” to the hardware and software on which Avnet Technology Solutions focuses.
For example, the company has recently launched cloud assessment services and cloud workshops to help solution providers sell cloud-based services to customers. It’s a fit because Avnet has long argued that the data centre is its cloud play.
Along with the new focus and brand, the company has introduced a new service – one that it says completes the data centre lifecycle. The distributor is adding IT asset and disposal services to the mix, effectively closing the loop on data centre gear that’s no longer needed or wanted. Reverse logistics are certainly nothing new to distribution, but Kedzior said the disposal services Avnet offers are built with the data centre in mind – meaning that security requirements like on-site disk erasing and even grinding are available, as well as plans to refurbish, recycle and reuse hardware that doesn’t pose a security threat.
The new disposal services are available now to the company’s resellers in Canada and the U.S., and of particular interest to Canadian solution providers, Kedzior said the company knows that across its services offerings, but particularly when it comes to issues like asset disposal, cloud and managed services, there are regional or national differences required, and the services are being crafted in such a way to recognize those differences. On the cloud and managed services side, for example, Kedzior noted that “there are data compliance issues specific to Canada” in the cloud, and that the distributor is moving to “expand its capabilities” here in order to do more data management in-country and ensure compliance.
In a recent discussion, ATS global president Phil Gallagher described the distributor’s services business as something of its best-kept secret, but hinted that the company would soon move to put the focus much more on those services. Kedzior said that by bringing together the services under the data centre lifecycle theme, Avnet was making sure it was “not only delivering quality service, but also communicating to the channel in a way they can consume,” part of an effort to increase the drumbeat around Avnet’s services offerings.
“We’re making sure we’re looked at as a data centre service provider by the channel,” he said. “This framework simplifies and creates more clarity about who we are and what we do.”
And that clarity ill be necessary to reach the growth expectations the company has for its services operations – Kedzior said his unit is expected to grow “to the tune of three figures for next year.”