Avnet: Partners Need to Go Cutting Edge

Avnet tells its partners to "go where the money is" in emerging technologies and verticals.

Avnet is encouraging channel partners to take chances on cutting-edge technologies and emerging markets before these markets become overrun by direct-business models.

At Avnet's Hewlett-Packard partner summit Nov. 28, the company's president of global services, John Paget, told partners in his keynote speech that instead of "building business around the 5 percent of what is being spent, focus on the 95 percent that's going to be spent," and begin building businesses around longer-term goals, business models and technology. The channel, he said, is the driver of leading-edge technology, and there's money and innovation just waiting to be taken advantage of.

If the channel doesn't get there first, Paget said, direct sales will. "If we're not ahead of that market, it'll end up being a direct market. And no one here gets paid in a direct market," he said.

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However, most of Avnet's partners are SMBs (small and midsize businesses) with limited budgets, and it can be difficult for them to make the necessary investments in new technology without help, Paget said. Avnet's role is to help its SMB partners break into new technology markets, he said, including vertical markets such as health care and government.

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