The Journey “Expanded Capabilites with Ascendant Technology”

2012 is shaping up to be an amazing year for our industry. I thought IBM’s Partnerworld Leadership Conference in New Orleans was a tremendous event demonstrating IBM’s continued focus on high-value solution offerings and continued support of their IBM business partners and Avnet’s skills.

IBM Global Software Channel Chief Inspecting Netezza Builds

The announcement of the Solutions Accelerator Incentive was a great example of IBM’s commitment to the channel and their recognition of the value of combining hardware, software and services into a total solution. Avnet has been moving in this same direction for years. Our focus on “Solutions Distribution”, our extensive offerings around “SolutionsPath” and meeting unique industry needs are all based on the recognition of the demand and value for complete solutions.  Another example of that is Avnet’s building and distributing IBM’s Netezza appliance as an integrated solution around the world.

With this in mind, I’d like to share some insights about our latest announcement, the acquisition and innovation of Ascendant Technology to expand our capabilities on behalf of our IBM business partners.

Avnet’s acquisition of Ascendant Technology supports our vision of solutions distribution that provides high business value and accelerates the success of IBM and our IBM business partners. We will grow Avnet’s entire IBM portfolio faster than the market.

  • The acquisition of Ascendant Technology expands Avnet’s software and services capabilities that will accelerate IBM’s software sales globally.
  • Avnet’s service team will be able to deliver software and services in partnership with the IBM business partner channel.
  • Our route to market is through the IBM business partner channel.
  • With this acquisition, Avnet is in a unique position to integrate the sales engagement model between IBM’s Software Group (SWG) and Systems Technology Group (STG). The result will be incremental workloads driving IBM hardware, software and services sales.
  • Avnet’s strategy is to expand its solution distribution capabilities organically and through acquisition to drive faster growth and higher profit opportunities for our IBM business partners.

With the acquisition of Ascendant Technology, Avnet is in a unique position to drive IBM’s 2015 roadmap:

  • Data Analytics:  Avnet will extend the success of “Destination: Analytics” (Cognos initiative) by addressing the information lifecycle with master data management, data warehousing and governance.
  • Cloud:  Avnet is positioned to deliver total solutions on-premise, and expand its capability to drive IBM’s SmartCloud solutions.
  • Growth Markets:  Avnet will leverage best practices in software and services globally.
  • Smarter Planet:  Avnet will scale IBM’s Smarter Planet offerings to a greater number of its IBM business partners.  (Smarter Cities – Intelligent Operations Center)

The ability to bring specialized services to our trusted IBM business partners is critical to help deliver a total end to end solution. Building a new practice or expanding a practice requires significant investments in hardware, software and services skills. These investments have traditionally been 100 percent in advance and 100 percent on our partners. Now, Avnet can provide a bridge across the chasm for you. We can bring hardware, software and services resources to you to expand your opportunities and determine where to invest.  We can enable while you earn — by decreasing risk and improving time to revenue.

For our IBM business partner who have already made investments, we offer the opportunity to expand your offerings, access our service resource to improve your utilization, Avnet accessing your service resources, opportunity to sell our pre-built assets, lead generation, marketing  and of course Teaming to improve your margins by maximizing IBM’s incentive programs.

We have received very positive feedback from many of our partners. What do you think? What services and assets would you most like to see Avnet bring to market to help drive your business growth?  I look forward to shaping a “Smarter Channel” for our partners’ benefit and welcome your input.

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This post was written by FJ on April 19, 2012

The Journey “PureSystems”

PureSystems

On Wednesday, IBM made a pretty significant announcement to the market regarding their new integrated platform “PureSystems” .  What makes this announcement pretty unique is IBM took the totality of its hardware, software and services across all the silos and brands to bring forth this amazing technology.

It’s been documented that 70% of a company’s IT spend is in the maintenance of their systems, leaving many innovated and competitive advantages as hopes and dreams.  PureSystems can be integrated into any environment, with other vendors products, as a Cloud offering or bundled with IBM software this is focused on solving key customer business problems that unlocks that competitive advantage for them.

I mentioned in a recent blog how we are amidst an IT revolution and the planet is becoming “Smarter”.  Most of us have smart phones and tablets but with IBM’s introduction of their Next Era of Computing, corporate America just got “Smarter”.  PureSystems is the world’s first family of systems with integrated expertise designed to change the customer experience by allowing customers to consolidate and virtualize all their business applications and workloads onto a single platform.

PureSystems brings together the best of everything IBM has to offer into a truly cross platform solution.  IBM’s innovation continues to push the boundaries of computing.  Innovation itself continues to be a key driver in the growth of a company, an industry and in IBM’s case, eventually the planet.  I consider myself very fortunate to have a front row seat to the innovation around us and to work at Avnet which is preparing, supporting and enabling our channel with Avnet’s Launch Central.

The beauty of PureSystems is our partners can now implement solutions faster than ever. They can continue their journey with their customers as a “trusted advisory” that can provide infrastructure solutions, but also to business solutions for the lines of business.  This creates more value for our partners with their customers.  To support the line of business solutions, IBM has announced over 30 solutions that can be bundled with PureSystems.  To make it even sweeter, IBM announced Solution Accelerator Incentive, which rewards our partners for selling or teaming with other partners to sell PureSystems and IBM software.  With the recent acquisition of Ascendant Technology, Avnet can support the channel with service resources our partners can leverage to implement the business solution and increase the time to value for their customers.

PureSystems is not a game-changer for IBM, it is a game-changer for every business looking to ease the complexities that come with managing IT systems, applications and resources.  IBM’s continued innovation creates a SmarterPlanet and paves the way for their partners’ to grow their business smarter and faster.  Our partners can enhance their value by offering integrated solutions, expanding their capabilities, providing a greater solution set and most importantly increasing their customers time to value (ROI) while expanding their “Trusted Advisory” status.

I’m Fred and I am an IBM Business Partner building a Smarter Channel and a Smarter Planet.

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This post was written by FJ on April 13, 2012

The Journey “The Enterprise IT Revolution “

I have been speaking about age a bit lately given an upcoming birthday.  I remember as a boy being excited to go to my grandma’s house to watch her color TV.  Fast forward 55 years and you can watch color TV in HDTV on your phone.  Technology has continued to advance at a rapid rate and there is an IT Revolution happening all around us as everything on our planet is getting “Smarter”.

Our guest speaker to give us a hint of the future is IBM’s, Lesley Norris, Vice President of IBM Global Business Partners.  Leslie shares her view from a company who is committed to making a Smarter Planet.

Lesley Norris, Vice President of IBM Global Business Partners

“Many of us believe technology solely exists to make our lives easier and, ultimately, better.   But we often struggle to make technology work for us, leading us to deem it more of a hassle than it’s worth.

Despite this opinion, there’s no denying the benefits of technology and its potential to change our lives.   Take the smartphone, for example.  It’s not just a phone but a tool by which we live our lives.  It’s a phone, calendar, mp3 player, camera, video camera, entertainment center and web browser – all in one device.   It’s fast, easy and, best of all, intuitive.  Smartphones and tablets are proliferating at a speed we’ve never seen before.  Why? It’s because Americans want technology that is both simple and seamless.

So why should the expectations be any different for enterprise IT? Each year, billions of dollars are spent on technology – with 70% of cost spent on simply trying to make technology work.  We are facing tremendous costs just to keep the lights on and the network afloat.

What if we could transform enterprise IT to create a workplace where technology is no longer a hindrance, but an enabler? What if technology could actually make our businesses run faster, smoother, and smarter – not just keep the lights on?

Though it may seem like a pipe dream, the future is closer than we think.  There’s no single solution to magically solve our technology woes, but it may not be far-fetched to dream of a workplace full of smarter systems; systems with the power and intelligence to do far more than “just work.”  Systems that could detect when a problem arises and automatically make changes before it breaks down.  Systems that could be trained to optimize themselves.

We’re living in an era where anything is possible. As we begin this new era of computing, technology will once again prove its ability to transform the enterprise.  It’s no longer a matter of if – but rather, when.”

Thank you Leslie for sharing your story with us and the opportunities for a simplified Enterprise IT environment.  Companies and customers want to run their companies in the most efficient, effective and productive environment to innovate in their markets, serve their customers and create a competitive advantage.  To be successful the focus has to be on easily accessing intelligent data that is converted to information that provides insights that create actionable outcomes.

Now, if I were a betting man, I believe IBM is in a position to create this environment that Leslie has shared with us.  I read where in 2010, IBM continues to invest in R&D and broke its own record for patents with 5,896.  That is a demonstration of the commitment to creating new technologies and serving clients.  It illustrates that creating a “Smarter Planet” is more than a slogan and that the future is closer than we all think.

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This post was written by FJ on April 6, 2012

The Journey “April Fools’ Day”

I was reminded that this month, I will celebrate a double nickel.  I must say that I can’t believe it and yet when I look in the mirror there is no escaping it.  As I look back over the last 55 years, I know that I am blessed to be here.

The Family

A family man with a wonderful wife, 5 great kids, 4 grandchildren and of course two and half dogs.  A man who pursues, physical, mental and spiritual challenges for the betterment of myself and all of those around me.  Always pushing myself and others to the next level, to create the future not just live in the present.

I have had the good fortune of staring death in the face and blessed to overcome being run over by a car, lost in the mountains, foolishly scaling 6 stories down a cement hose and surviving 12 surgeries.

I have had the pleasure of a great career, starting at the very bottom of the work force sweeping floors to leading a multibillion dollar business.  I had the chance to go to college, thanks to IBM and even get my masters, thanks to Avnet.

Yes, I have been blessed from above and by my family, friends and those I serve in the workplace.  It reminds me of a day on December 1, 2005 when I wrote this down.

“Live everyday with a purpose.  To love your family and help someone in need.  Make a small difference in peoples’ lives.  Forgive yourself for past sins.  Know that you are striving to change and make a difference in your life and others.  Put your ego aside, don’t let your pride get in the way.  Don’t be depressed for your blessings are many.  Make it a point to be happy and thankful and try to bring joy to all you come into contact with.  Happiness is a choice you can make every minute of every day.”

Reflection is a wonderful thing to do from time to time.  It allows you the chance to remember where you came from and how far you have come.  Today may be April Fools’ Day or to some All Fool’s Day, but the only fool is one who forgets to reflect and say thanks for all they have, have become and have to look forward to.

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This post was written by FJ on April 1, 2012