Bell purchase bringing Avnet houses closer together [Video]

Phil Gallagher and Jeff Bawol

Avnet Technology Solutions' Phil Gallagher (left) and Jeff Bawol

SAN ANTONIO, TEX. Avnet’s purchase earlier this year of fellow distributor Bell Microproducts has had an unforeseen benefit – it has brought the two sides of Avnet closer together.

Phil Gallagher, global president of Avnet Technology Solutions, said about two thirds of the former Bell Micro business runs through the other half of Avnet, Avnet Electronics Marketing, but the number of Bell customers and suppliers that straddle the line between the two businesses has led to greater integration between the two sides of Avnet.

“We see Electronics Marketing and Technology Solutions trying to get the marketing message more cohesive, more jointly aligned. It would behoove us to do so from an Avnet perspective,” Gallagher said.

Jeff Bawol, president of Avnet Technology Solutions in the Americas, said the biggest benefit of snapping up Bell was the instant presence it and Tallard Technologies, another acquisition, gave Avnet in Latin America and the Caribbean.

“The Bell acquisition opened our eyes to it because the suppliers they represent were kind of tweeners,” Bawol said. “They had some products on the EM side of the house and some of the things that TS sold.”

Bawol said that in Latin America and the Caribbean, Bell and Tallard increase Avnet’s presence tenfold, and that additional presence was certainly felt at the company’s IBM Partner Summit here, which for the first time included Avnet executives from around the world.

Gallagher said he’s working much more closely than before with his counterparts in the embedded side of the business, and the companies are developing common plans. “We have customers that buy products from both of us, so we thought it important to have a single face for those customers,” he said.

Building Avnet internationally has been a priority this year, with both organic and acquisition growth bringing additional presence in Europe, Latin America, Asia and beyond. “More and more suppliers are looking to expand with Avnet across various regions,” Gallagher said. also caught up with Gallagher and Bawol at the distributor’s IBM Partner Summit to discuss what the two executives saw as the top opportunities for Avnet Technology Solutions and its partners in the marketplace. Here’s what they had to say: