Avnet leads SGI's channel charge

High-performance computing vendor, Silicon Graphics (SGI), is set to turn its local channel model on its head and has begun the process with the appointment of Avnet Partner Solutions as its newest local distributor.

The news comes on top of the vendor filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in North America last month as it continues efforts to revamp itself to regain profitability.

SGI general manager APAC, Bill Trestrail, said it hoped to invert its channel model from 85 per cent direct to indirect sales within 12 months. The first element of the transition is the appointment of value-added distributor, Avnet Partner Solutions, to distribute both SGI hardware and software.

"We want to increase our presence in the channel to grow our business and move into markets where we expect partners might have better skills than we do," he said. "This isn't a decision we woke up with last week; it's been a year-long process to this stage, looking for the right partner, communicating with staff and getting aligned for this change."

Avnet managing director, Colin McKenna, said it would help the vendor to develop a channel model, which would include the appointment of new resellers. It would place a special focus on the ISV community.

"Being a global company we will be able to help global software vendors entering the Australian market with SGI software and hardware solutions," he said.

The distributor would also adopt SGI's Channel Connection program to keep resellers up to date with ongoing plans and product releases. Trestrail said this would include some lower end products, particularly in the storage market.

"We will also work on the creation of leads and business development for partners," he said.

"Our goal is to maximise the revenue from customers where we might have been addressing 20 per cent of their available technical spend. Our CEO [Dennis McKenna] has been stating we can get that to 80 per cent."