Increasing demand from end-users for one-stop infrastructure solutions as well as growth in outsourcing contracts is opening up long-term opportunities for resellers who provide more than just products, industry representatives claim.
Star Com managing director, Peter Williams, said clients were being challenged to derive revenue from IT, contain security breaches and integrate disparate systems. As a result, many were looking for IT providers to manage their whole technical suite, pushing resellers to provide more complex and specific IT models.
“Our success is all about our models out to market,” he said. “These need to be flexible and agile. This is where value-added distribution partners are needed.”
Star Com was one of many resellers present at Avnet’s value distribution launch for its HP business in Sydney last week. The event featured speakers from Avnet’s HP business division, as well as the company’s existing HP reseller customers.
Avnet was awarded the Australian HP contract for its servers and storage products in September last year, replicating a similar relationship with the vendor in the US.
The company, which also distributes IBM and Enterasys products, completed its 18-month transition from a direct-based business to a value-added distribution company in Australia in June.
Avnet Partner Solutions manager for the HP business unit, Darren Adams, said Avnet was now focused on offering services and support to resellers that offered value of a vendor standard. These included product development and business planing, training, and technical support.
Adams said resellers often had strong client relationships and front-end application skills. On the other side of the coin, vendors had strong development procedures and created brand awareness. However, there was a need in the market for a value-added distributor to work between the two, particularly in the SMB space, to offer services such as inventory management, financing and technical sales, he said.
Williams said he supported the value distribution model because it brought more expertise to the reseller’s table.
“Years ago the relationship with vendors was black and white," Adam said. "The growth of outsourcing is changing the landscape."
Resellers need to not only offer the physical products, but also devise whole solutions for clients.
“With a value-added distributor, there are more skills to leverage for your business model and for your client’s IT issues,” he said.
Avnet national marketing manager, Michael Costigan, said Avnet was looking to sign up 100 to 150 Australian resellers under its HP distribution program.
The company currently had 50 resellers, he said. Most had customers with 100 to 500 users.
Avnet also maintains 250 reseller partners under its IBM distribution program.