Avnet’s 2017 Predictions

Marcus Adae, Vice President Strategic Suppliers, Avnet Technology Solutions EMEA

Marcus Adae, Vice President Strategic Suppliers,
Avnet Technology Solutions EMEA

 

2016 has been an exciting year for technology, and 2017 will be equally as fast paced.

 

This is how we see the next year shaping up in terms of technology trends:

 

 

 

  1. Advance machine learning: The next stage in IoT and connected technologies

This year, much has been written about the power of the Internet of Things (IoT). Advanced machine learning is the next stage in generating real value from intelligent, connected devices. Leveraging machine learning and cognitive computing with connected smart devices allows humans to interact with technology and their surroundings in ways which will drive innovation forward at an unprecedented pace. Prominent examples include self-driving cars and delivery drones, as well as products that will increasingly make up the smart home such as smart meters and other home automation products.  As the gap narrows between the physical and digital world, the door opens wider for companies to explore new and innovative products and services both in the commercial and consumer sectors, which will ultimately enrich the way we interact with our world day to day.

Advancements in machine learning and cognitive computing will greatly benefit the technology sector. As this kind of technology becomes more reliable and trusted, companies will start to use it to explore entirely new business models, gaining hidden insights to their markets and operations which previously may never have been discovered. In October 2016, Uber used a self-driving truck to make its first autonomous delivery of 50,000 cans of Budweiser beer. There are still many regulations to work through, like insurance and accident liability, but in 2017 we will see many more disruptive businesses start to deploy these technologies into real-world scenarios. Only those who can demonstrate innovation by developing solutions that complement IoT and machine learning will benefit, and 2017 will see a significant rise in the number of initiatives being invested in.

Connected technologies can help nearly any industry, but are becoming more popular within logistics. IoT will support shipments and cargo, allowing them to be constantly monitored and all the information gathered can be sent back to HQ, enabling the industry to become more reliable and dynamic. We’ve already seen Amazon piloting the usage of drones for rapid and premium delivery services, but we can expect to see many of the traditional logistics companies such as UPS and FedEx starting to get into the connected technology game throughout 2017.

 

  1. Mobile technologies in the ever changing tech world

With mobile technology now ubiquitous as it is, it has become more or less an extension of our very selves, often acting as the voice and eyes into the digital part of our existence, be it our online social interactions, our work emails or our EBay addiction. Interacting with a mobile device, especially for the younger generation feels natural and intuitive.  As this technology advances, the opportunities for mobile technologies to improve workflow become limitless. Mobility has become a life and work style, and is an accelerator of cloud adoption enabling increasingly more flexible approaches to collaboration, sharing of data and time management. At the same time, the rapid move to the cloud for core applications such as ERP, CRM and other productivity tools is accelerating the adoption of mobile solutions, empowering the mobile worker.

Who will benefit the most from the other and grow faster? It is certainly not an easy call but one thing is sure, in 2017 mobility will be an even bigger opportunity for the channel, especially for managed services and mobile security.

 

  1. Analytics are becoming fundamental to the distribution sector

Analytics is an increasingly critical part of any business and is one that will certainly become more important and prominent in 2017. Analytics offers more insight than ever before to help organisations make better business decisions in real-time. Partners that service the supply chain will be aware it has never been more important to know more than simply what your customers are buying. These organisations are embracing advanced and cognitive analytics to understand what their customers are thinking and what motivates them, as well as insight into what supply is needed and where it is in the warehouse. Data is very much the new oil, the value of putting your data to work to empower multiple lines of business, from operations, to marketing, to sales, will unlock untold potential for many organisations. One example of this is the Industry 4.0 and the smart factory. This involves the coming together of a number of technologies, but analytics will play a big role in modelling the wealth of sensor data in a factory to determine output, machine health and production quality in conjunction with using analytics to determine demand and predict issues. The smart factory is expected to contribute to an economic boom, which many refer to as the 4th Industrial Revolution.

This is obviously a very grand example, but in 2017 the channel will see more customers becoming heavily reliant on detailed business insight from their data to gain competitive market advantage. Cognitive computing will give them competitive edge and deep customer understanding and become the basis for how and where they grow. The substantial growth in cloud as a platform for innovation will provide new routes to market to support this.

 

  1. The cloud will become a starting point for business transformation

This year we have seen cloud adoption and trust in cloud technology move forward at orders of magnitude far greater than previous years. The ways in which it has been adopted ranges from the born in the cloud start-up companies benefiting from the mobility and low investment risk that cloud brings, to the enterprise leveraging new and interesting approaches to B2B connectivity, streamlining cross company operations and collaboration. Another big driving force of cloud is the sheer volume of consumers that services can address today and the unpredictability of demand around those services. Organisations need cloud to be agile and flexible in handling that demand while also ensuring continued availability of service and facilitating ease of access to those services through any manner of devices. Cloud, when used correctly, addresses all of these challenges.

The cloud will also become an enabler for new security solutions, especially data security, as its perceived disadvantages transform into advantages. The European General Data Protection Regulation that will be adopted in May 2018 will put pressure on companies to ensure the security of data collected. Companies wishing to move to the cloud quicker in order to outsource these responsibilities will benefit from a better quality of IT infrastructure, provided by companies with a clear focus and mandate around data security in the cloud. This will dramatically reduce capex spending, allowing organisations to invest in local security products and services for their current on-premise IT networks.

Cloud technologies and businesses’ attitudes toward the cloud are maturing daily, with less companies seeing it as a rogue element (or shadow IT, as it’s often referred to). As more companies are stitching it into the fabric of their core IT strategy, it has become more trusted than ever and in many senses has become a data and services fabric bringing new levels of agility to those organisations that embrace it.

With the cloud likely to take over in 2017, other sectors may feel a bit of a hit. The cloud is beginning to be seen as the most reliable storage, security and business transformation solution on the market, and IT departments will need to undergo a digital transformation in all of these areas to stay ahead.

The key for the upcoming year will be to ensure partners tap into both data centres and cloud expertise, combining all their strengths to become the ‘one-stop-shop’ for technology solutions, and creating a fool-proof way to succeed within the cloud in 2017.

Posted under Big data, Cloud Computing, Internet of Things (IoT)

This post was written by on December 16, 2016

Why engage with Amazon Web Services through Avnet?

AWS and Avnet Logo

Amazon Web Services (AWS) provides a highly reliable, scalable, low-cost infrastructure platform in the cloud that powers hundreds of thousands of businesses all over the world. Add to that Avnet’s successful solution-driven strategy and deep channel knowledge, and the result is a winning combination all around. AWS gives instant access to worldwide storage and compute options, as well as additional services. Even better, you only pay for what you use and for the time you use it.

The beauty of Avnet’s relationship with AWS is that partners can use and resell AWS through the Avnet Cloud Marketplace bringing a range of new opportunities to all parties.

Here we have highlighted 10 reasons why purchasing AWS through Avnet is the best and simplest option.

  1. Avnet’s local cloud team helps you build cloud solutions and become proficient quickly  on AWS
  2. ACM offers simple monthly billing, account management, dashboard with cloud spend, optimised resources, and more
  3. Create your own branded Cloud Marketplace
  4. Avnet offers additional services, providing skills that may be lacking in-house
  5. Avnet Academy provides authorised AWS training courses
  6. Get instant discounts leveraging Avnet AWS Partner status
  7. Avnet can help you consolidate yours or your customer’s spend for additional discounts
  8. Avnet invoices you in local currency
  9. Avnet offers AWS services on a credit line (subject to availability)

…. And if that’s not enough

  1. Partners also receive £20 free spend on their first AWS invoice through Avnet in 2016!

Avnet’s Cloud Solutions team provides quick AWS account setup and access. Under the program, partners maintain all of the benefits of being an AWS reseller plus a number of Avnet-provided benefits including account provisioning support, discounts with no volume commitments, monthly reporting and no annual program fees.

With Avnet, our partners are able to take their cloud management to an entirely new level and help drive rapid cloud adoption across the market.

Posted under Cloud Computing

This post was written by on November 24, 2016

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What’s next with security and cloud? Can the channel benefit?

Danny Yeowell, Security and Networking Business Unit Manager at Avnet

Danny Yeowell, Security and Networking Business Unit Manager at Avnet

Cloud. Security. Two words that can polarise debate as some channel leaders see opportunity while others see issues and for every cloud sceptic there is a cloud convert.  All too often the debate is about how secure is “cloud” whereas the focus should really be on understanding what it has to offer and how it can support an organisation’s business priorities.

The likelihood is that your customers are already utilising cloud-based services in one form or another.  According to research by Cloud Security Alliance, customer relationship management (CRM) represents the most widely adopted cloud-based solution with over 36% of companies having made the migration. The survey further highlighted that 64.9% of IT leaders think the cloud is as secure or more secure than on-premises software. This finding contrasts significantly with a global survey conducted for BT in 2014, which revealed that more than three quarters of IT decision makers (82 percent in the US; 76 percent globally) said security was their main concern about using cloud-based services.

Whilst confidence is growing, customers should not feel compelled to make the giant leap to the cloud. Public cloud isn’t a panacea and it’s important for organisations to understand their options when developing a cloud strategy. Not all data is equal and this fact is paramount when deciding where it resides. Just like traditional storage and data sharing methods, cloud computing comes with its own set of characteristics that introduce a new set of risks. Data governance is one of the primary concerns when moving to the cloud as organisations relinquish some control over their data. New assurances are needed to ensure that organisational security policies and legal obligations continue to be met.

Cloud computing offers organisations many significant benefits including:

  • Flexibility
  • Accessibility
  • Potential cost savings
  • Increased capacity.

Organisations can maximise these benefits by understanding the implications of handing over their data to a third party and by assessing the additional risks that this move creates.  Once these risks are identified, organisations can ensure that the necessary controls are in place to enable them to meet their information security and data governance objectives.

A move to the cloud has challenges and this presents an opportunity for the channel. For every organisation keen to dive head first into a cloud only environment, there will be others wanting to adopt a more considered approach and explore private or hybrid cloud environments. Every organisation has a different tolerance to risk and the channel is best placed to help them select the optimal solution that delivers the benefits of cloud computing whilst mitigating threats with the most secure solution.

Danny Yeowell has 30 years’ experience within the IT industry working for manufacturers and systems integrators.  The past 20 years’ experience has been gained within the solutions and pre-sales environment across many market sectors.  Yeowell has a breadth of knowledge spanning networking, security, data centre and unified communications, among other associated technology and service areas. 

 

Posted under Cloud Computing, IT infrastructure, Security

This post was written by on November 22, 2016

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Every cloud has a silver lining: Why now is the time for the channel to take advantage of cloud computing

Michael Fischermanns, vice president cloud solutions at Avnet Technology Solutions EMEA

Michael Fischermanns, vice president cloud solutions at Avnet Technology Solutions EMEA

Today we are seeing cloud computing spreading across the IT landscape, offering businesses the benefits of scalability, speed and accessibility. IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Cloud IT Infrastructure Tracker¹  showed that cloud IT infrastructure spending climbed to nearly 30% of overall IT infrastructure spending in 1Q15, up from 26.4% a year before.

The cloud helps businesses of any size create products and services faster and with far greater reach than before. The eradication of barriers associated with on-premise systems now enables change and growth as fast as a business demands.  Indeed, most business solutions are suited to the cloud, which in turn opens up opportunities for the channel.

Becoming a cloud enabler is the future

Although it has come a long way in a short time, cloud computing is still in its infancy relative to its potential. To stay relevant and take advantage of the opportunity, channel partners must become cloud enablers, developing solution expertise, and even moving to a managed service provider model.

End-user customers will be looking for an IT partner that understands their industry, their business model and their customers, along with their commercial competencies and plans for the future. Indeed, a partner that can help them migrate to the cloud and develop a long-term strategy taking into account their needs, for example, in terms of back-up, business continuity and security.

This presents an exciting opportunity that will require a different way of working from the traditional reseller model. Savvy channel businesses will evolve to become a cloud partner, building an eco-system of vendors, service providers and ISVs to help with their transition, as well as training and support requirements.

At Avnet we see our role to work with business partners to help them manage this transformation, providing a wide portfolio and vendor agnostic approach to help them become an enabler of a cloud business strategy.

Reaping the benefits of the cloud model

Every cloud opportunity brings the potential for new and recurring revenue streams. From data storage and back-up, to security and compliance, business analytics and services, forward-thinking channel businesses must keep ahead of the game to provide the most relevant software, networking and security products.

Business planning will become easier as customers switch to a cloud-based managed service and therefore are less likely to move to a new supplier. Recurring revenue will mean the quarterly rush for contracts and revenue, to meet targets, will become a thing of the past.

The flexibility and scalability of the cloud also means that customers can expand their IT applications and infrastructure to support the business with minimal financial risk. This also reduces the risk to the channel with lower investment in stock. In addition, while training and education programmes have a cost, they can quickly pay dividends with consultancy and service fees.

The cloud wave is rolling on

We have seen that cloud technology has already established itself as a global mainstream solution. Uber has used cloud capabilities to transform the taxi industry, Airbnb has shaken up the hotel industry and Netflix has had an impact on the home entertainment market. No industry is immune to this change and adoption of a cloud strategy is top of the agenda for all businesses and the channel is no different.

All the benefits of the cloud can be realised if channel partners hold their nerve and continue to work together.

Posted under Cloud Computing, IT infrastructure

This post was written by on November 9, 2016

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Why accelerating channel success on next-generation technologies is about great partnerships

Simon Stevens, cloud & managed services business development manager

We are seeing the technology industry shifting gear when it comes to next-generation technologies. It’s an exciting time for the IT industry; we are experiencing a major technological evolution.

I’m all in favour of this change as my time and focus is spent helping Avnet’s partners evolve and grow their businesses. More than most, I see first-hand how change can be difficult at the best of times. It requires great courage for a business to change the formula that has made it successful. But in truth, when it comes to IT, the formula that made us successful in the past is not the same formula for our future success. Channel partners need to branch out and try new things with new technologies. They might need different skills, a different message or even different customers. But of course, despite what you might read, change doesn’t happen overnight. Read More…

Posted under Cloud Computing, Internet of Things (IoT), IT infrastructure

This post was written by on September 21, 2016

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