Avnet Partner Solutions, in conjunction with IBM, has set up a new program to help resellers craft and sell blade solutions.
Under the BladeCentral initiative, Avnet will provide blades that run on IBM System x. Partners will be able to use these as a platform and build tools and functionality on top using Novell's Suse Linux distribution as well as utilise IBM's Tivoli software, storage and express tools. Marketing director, Michael Costigan, said BladeCentral would help the channel provide a total solution.
"Before, partners would probably just sell the infrastructure. Now they can use the blade as a preferred platform and build software and application layers on top," he said. "It's an easy deployment and a cost-effective solution for the mid-market, which is the sweet spot for our resellers. We are seeing a real surge in the market around blades."
The BladeCentral initiative offers education programs, sales and technical advice. Costigan said participants would also be offered integration support from Avnet and IBM as well as marketing tools.
"We are trying to offer a complete information lifecycle for partners around blades," he said.
Currently Avnet has about 30 partners in the program. Costigan said there were no limitations as to how many it would like on-board.
Avnet is a member of IBM's Blade.org, which consists of 75 companies globally. Other members include Citrix and Intel. The initiative is aimed at ensuring interoperability between the software, hardware and services partners put together using the IBM BladeCenter platform.
"It saves our customers and partners from having to do the tricky part of trying to figure out if a particular solution works," IBM A/NZ brand manager System x, Dean Janjic, said. "Having this team of companies collaborating can influence the market when it comes to what solutions are there and what are the customer requirements."