Server company Rackspace has joined an IBM inspired server group, snubbing its primary chip supplier, Intel.
The Openpower foundation was formed a year ago and has something like 80 worldwide members, working on producing server technology built using IBM rather than Intel microprocessor architecture.
The group already has members including Nvidia, Tyan and Google.
Rackspace has been working behind the scenes with the group for over 18 months, but openly declared its hand yesterday. Senior director Aaron Sullivan said that Openpower has an open firmware stack, and better access to chips, memory and storage than, for example, Intel.
Other additions to the powerful consortium include Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the Mumbai Indian Institute of Technology, and worldwide distributor Avnet.
Openpower said its first summit will be held mid March at the San Jose Convention Center in California.
Megadistributor Avnet said it has been appointed as a global Lenovo route to market.
This follows Lenovo’s acquisition of IBM’s System x (X86) server business early in the month.
Avnet said it will sell Lenovo servers in over 40 different countries around the world.
As well as Lenovo System x systems, Avnet will sell BladeCenter and Flex System blades and switches, X86 integrated system, NextScale and iDataplex servers, software and maintenance.
But this does not mean Avnet is waving goodbye to IBM. It’s worked with Big Blue for nearly 30 years and will continue to distribute IBM Power Systems, Storage Systems, Power Flex servers, training, software and services.
Tony Madden, a senior VP at Avnet Global said: “Avnet is working closely with Lenovo to ensure a seamless transition for existing System x channel partners and their customers.”
Mega distie Avnet said it has set up a new business unit in the European, Middle East and Africa markets.
The dvision, called Avnet Security and Networking Solutions (ASNS), is intended to boost its share of this sector and will include the opening of specialist technical and commercial competence centres in the region.
Network security is predicted to be worth over $10 billion in revenues, according to market research firm IDC.
The first commercial competence centre will open in the Netherlands this quarter, and be a hub for delivering security and networking services.
Graeme Watt, president of Avnet in EMEA said his company will use existing people in the company to bring in external specialist skills to bolster the market.
Miriam Murphy (pictured) is to become a senor VP of Avnet’s northern region – that’s the UK and Ireland.
She replaces interim head of the territory Tony Madden, who has run the UK business over the last six months.
Murphy is a long time employee of Avnet and she was responsible for expanding its IBM business across 14 countries in the EMEA region, according to Graeme Watt, president of Avnet EMEA.
Murphy said the channel is changing but there are some opportunities for distribution and for partners in security, big data, analytics, conveged infrastructure and other services.
Megadistributor Avnet Technology Solutions UK has been awarded a gong and named by EMC as its UK distributor of the year 2013.
Avnet gets the gong because it has promoted EMC’s “Attitude” programme – a scheme intended for small and medium sized businesses.
Channel director Terry Beale, from EMC, said that Avnet contributes a great deal to company sales. Avnet partly gets the gong because it has made an easy to use portal for resellers that lets people configure and price EMC systems and improve its market share.
Avnet channel man Lee Bushnell said that his team drives demands and gives technical and commercial support on a range of EMC products.
Pictured here are, from left to right, Richard Graham, Clare Wright, Lee Bushnell, David Ross, and Warren Powell – all of them working for Avnet. The mask behind is presumably somebody from EMC.
Distributor Avnet said it has introduced a programme called Altitude aimed at small and medium sized businesses.
The programme promotes EMC storage and back up devices and aims to help its resellers offer VNXe storage and Data Domain backup products.
The scheme centres around an online configuration tool that lets resellers calculate price for the EMC products without needing to contact Avnet. Using a secure portal, the configurator is available at all times.
Lee Bushnell, EMC business manager at Avnet UK (pictured), said that the programme will help resellers to secure lucrative revenue streams with attractive pricing.
Resellers can avail themselves of training on the portal along with sales information, data sheets and product training.
Marc van Ierland has been made country manager of its Benelux district which includes Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands.
van Ierland has over 20 years experience in distribution and has been at Avnet since November 2007 after the company acquired ACAL.
Andrew Binding, VP at Avnet EMEA South said that he is a well known and respected individual with a proven track record in developing and managing highly motivated teams.
He previously managed the IBM, Oracle, networking, security and document management business units in the region.
Distribution giant Avnet UK said it has partnered with international law firm Simmons and Simmons to hold a seminar on the impact of IT in the finance sector.
The aim of the event, dubbed FinancialPath University, is to educate its business partners about delivering IT to this sector. The seminar, to be held on the 25th of February, will explor legal and regulatory matters that have an effect on IT decision making in the sector.
Avnet’s Frank Bennett, who heads up the initiative, said that the financial services industry is a huge opportunity for its business partners but is a complex industry to master.
After the seminar, delegates will be able to keep up to date with developments in the sector with a series of webinars.
Avnet Services said that it had become an accredited Veeam authorised education centre.
That will allow it to introduce a training programme in the UK, France, the Netherlands, Denmark, Italy and Spain.
The idea is to let its reseller partners become trained in Veeam software products. Veeam specialises in providing backup virtualisation management.
Rene Albert, director of education at Avnet Services EMEA said that the partnership will extend his company’s education portfolio just as the virtualisation market is showing increased growth.
And Daniel Fried, MD at Veeam said that the new training and certification programmes with let channel and end users take advantage of demand for data protection built for virtualisation.
A survey commissioned by Brocade has surveyed 350 global resellers and systems integrators and concludes that datacentre availability is the primary concern of customers.
The survey, carried out with the aid of Avnet, TD Azlan, TechData, Arrow ES, edsLAN, the Immix Group, Mindware and Westcon showed that 60 percent of end users see fabrics as the future of networks. But their unwillingness to invest in datacentre networks is a big hurdle for enterprises.
A third of the channel players surveyed said their customers only invested in networks to support a specific new application or service. Over one in 10 said they only invested when the network was already failing.
The survey identified five drivers of network investment: virtualisation, faster access to data and applications, greater bandwidth, supporting increasing data volumes and the need to support mobility.
Sixty percent of the channel players think fabric networks will be deployed in datacentres by 2020.
However, a third admitted knowing little about SDN, while 62 percent think budget constraints have a significant impact on companies investing in technology. And 63 percent consider vendor financing as “vital” or “more important”.
Major distie Avnet Technology Solutions EMEA said it has made a hire today.
Jeroen van Es is now country manager for Iberia, that is to say Spain and Portugal.
van Es formerly worked for Ingram Micro but with his Avnet hat on his task is to increase sales in Spain and Portugal. He has a background of 19 years in the IT industry.
Andrew Binding, VP of Avnet Solutions South said that van Es had a proven track record developing and managing teams. “He’s known for building strong and trusting partnerships with both suppliers and customers,” he said.
Major distributor Avnet Technology Solutions said it has added HP ArcSightLogger as part of its enterprise security product portfolio.
A log management tool, the ArcSight Logger is intended to provide management across search, reports, security, IT operations, application development and compliance.
Avnet claimed it is the only distributor in the UK to provide the entire HP networking portfolio along with HP enterprise security.
Andrew Stuart, HP business unit manager, Avnet Technology Solutions, UK, said: “Rogue employees, partners or criminal rings engaged in fraudulent activities only have to get it right once to create serious damage to an organisation’s network and reputation. With access to a broader suite of HP enterprise software products, including enterprise event log management, network intrusion and application security, our partners can competitively differentiate themselves and deliver solutions to enhance threat detection and improve security while driving additional networking sales supported by Avnet.”
“Organisations need comprehensive enterprise security and compliance solutions to effectively manage network and application environments,” said Miles Rippon, manager, EMEA distribution, HP. “With this extended partnership, Avnet can now include HP ArcSight in its portfolio of solutions for channel partners to deliver cost-effective log management capabilities to protect customers’ hybrid IT infrastructure from sophisticated cyber threats.”
Major distie Avnet introduced its Cloud Enhance programme in the UK.
Its goal is to help its partners and service providers to make money because of the growth of unstructured data.
Avnet is offering a portfolio of inexpensive and secure archiving answers aimed at cutting costs, making IT simpler, and secure too.
Avnet wants to introduce service providers to its business partners to help everybody profit from the cloud.
Avnet claims archiving as a managed service is a mostly untapped market. Some elements of this include File Tiering as a Service (FTaS), File Serving as a Service (FsaS), Email Archiving as a Service (EaaS), Microsoft Sharepoint Tiering as a Service (MSTaS), and File Sync and Share Service (FsaSS).
It’s also moving into vertical sectors too, according to our old mate Sukh Rayat, senior VP of Avnet Technology Solutions EMEA (pictured).
“Organisations are re-evaluating their IT strategies. They need to deal with everything from increased performance and capacity requirements, rising power and cooling costs to regulatory pressures,” said Rayat.
Basically, resellers without the means to deliver managed services will couple with service providers bringing benefits not only to the channel players and the service providers, but to Avnet too.
Avnet and VMWare are collaborating to open an End User Computing practice in Britain, to push channel partners towards the desktop transformation market, utilising VMware’s Horizon suite along with Avnet SolutionsPath.
Avnet insists that as the office environment rushes towards Bring Your Own Device, IT departments are faced with emerging threats to make sure their networks are fit for security as well as cost effective. By investing in the workspace, businesses can reduce headaches in the long run.
The company believes twinning SolutionsPath with VMware technology can manage all parts of a firm’s physical and virtual infrastructure centrally, meaning down the road businesses can implement a system that is not shaken by the consumerisation of IT.
The EUC practice promises to quicken entry into desktop transformation, and Avnet says it will do this by opening up access to its technology and multi vendor network, as well as providing specialist knowledge.
Businesses that sign up to the practice will have the opportunity to learn about delivering VMware gear in a way to fit a customer’s IT environment, as well as gauging the level ofvirtualisation that is required. Users can pick from Avnet’s wide range of VMware partners such as HP, IBM, Cisco, EMC, NetApp, Riverbed, and Nvidia.
Partners will also be encouraged to learn how they should sell VMware Horizon in markets such as healthcare, government and finance.
VMware’s UK&I head of channel, Ed Dolman, said the initiative will be a “powerful value proposition” as the company looks for new partners who are interested in desktop transformation but don’t have the right skills.
“By enrolling in Avnet’s SolutionsPath University, business partners have the ability to receive the training they need to develop knowledge and expertise supported by the generation of sales leads,” Dolman said.
As of today Avnet UK is the first distributor in the UK to boast the Quality in Credit Management Accreditation (QICM) from the Institute of Credit Management, Europe’s largest association for the credit management profession.
The award recognizes outfits that exhibit an outstanding commitment to quality and best practices in all things credit. Since Avnet’s partners range from OEMs, VARs, software vendors and system integrators to consultancy service organisations, good credit management is crucial for Avnet’s corporate strategy. The company applied for QICM accreditation two years ago.
“We are constantly striving for operational excellence. The QICM accreditation recognises the high quality of our credit department and is validation that Avnet’s credit processes are the best in the industry.” said Darren Maynard, Head of Credit at Avnet Technology Solutions UK Credit is a key sales enabler in the IT channel and it is important to Avnet that its business partners have complete confidence in the credit support they receive.”
Gaining QICM accreditation was quite tough, as Avnet had to undergo a two-day assessment of its credit and collections processes and documentation, which was practically an external audit carried out by ICM’s assessors.