Avnet Technology Solutions, the value-added IT Distributor, is offering its new and established IBM Business Partners continued support through these difficult times with a series of proactive events and marketing initiatives to prepare them for the year ahead. The events will cover a wide spectrum of topics including training sessions for Business Partners to retain and gain IBM accreditations.
Kicking off the process was a Business Partner Certification Day held in the freshly updated Bracknell training and demonstration facility THE [resource]. Business Partners had the opportunity to take IBM System x certification exams, at no cost. A total of 74 exams were taken with some people taking multiple exams on the same day.
Mike Mernagh, IBM Business Unit Director at Avnet said, We know how important it is for Partners to keep their skills up to date but when times are tight training budgets are often the first to be cut. In this instance the attendees also had the benefit of seeing the training room set up with the latest technology.
Using a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure environment with thin clients and screens from Wyse and Eizo, connected through an Ericom connection broker, back to a VMware infrastructure running on IBM System x3850 M2 servers (all stored across IBM System Storage DS4700 and NSeries N3300), we were able to give attendees the opportunity to update their accreditations and see the technology in action and running smoothly.
Power System i and p technical accreditation training sessions will also be available over the coming months. From a sales point of view another series of Power System i and p sales Avnet bootcamps have been scheduled in THE [resource]. At the end of last year there was 100% pass rate, maintaining Avnets perfect record in IBM sales training.
In addition Avnet has launched several marketing initiatives for IBM Business Partner including sales people joining Avnets chosen telemarketing company Slipstream SDS Limited for an IBM Rational AppScan call out day. Partners were given training and a new database to call with a view to generating leads for them to retain and nurture.
Kyriakos Markianos, Software Sales at Business Partner Prolifics commented, The whole day was very well executed. Avnet organised a professional and distraction free day that ensured all attendees could focus on the goals and intentions of the day. The coaching and advice we received on how to approach cold calling was invaluable. It certainly provided an intriguing insight into how much effort is required to turn a long list of potential contacts into a winning opportunity. Even in a room full of senior sales people, there were plenty of new techniques and approaches to learn and apply to each call. I would certainly recommend it to others.
The Avnet marketing team is also available for marketing consultancy and to help Business Partners create integrated campaigns. For example under the latest drive IBM Business Partners are able to take advantage of bespoke marketing material to promote the benefits of virtualisation. Avnet financed the creation and printing of the collateral as part of its value-add and the flyers are free to partners who can illustrate the ability to run an integrated campaign including a mail-out to their database followed-up with telemarketing activity to identify lead opportunities.
Finally, in conjunction with IBM, Avnet held a New Business Partner Day to help those new to selling IBM software to get the most out of IBM and its programmes. Presentations included an introduction to IBM incentive programmes such as Software Value Incentive (SVI) and Value Advantage Plus (VAP) along with a presentation on IBM Passport Advantage and Software Overview. Business Partners were also updated on Avnets sales, finance, technical, marketing and business development support capabilities.
Mike Mernagh concluded, As a value-added distributor Avnet helps Business Partners reach new customers by not only providing first class products and solutions from leading vendors, but by empowering them with marketing consultancy, lead generation, pre and post sales technical support, customised financial services and by creating alliances between our Partners. In addition they have access to a multi-million demonstration facility in THE [resource]. While tough times might be ahead Avnet will do everything within in its power to keep the impact to a minimum.
About Avnet Technology Solutions
Avnet Technology Solutions is an operating group of Phoenix-based Avnet, Inc. As a global technology sales and marketing organization, Avnet Technology Solutions has sales divisions focused on specific customer segments and a select line card strategy enabling an exceptional level of attention to the needs of its customers and suppliers. For fiscal year 2008, the group served customers in more than 30 countries and generated US $7.6 billion in annual revenue.