Avnet connects the SolutionsPath dots with data centre program

Tim FitzGerald Avnet

Tim FitzGerald, VP of Avnet's data centre technology solutions for North America

Avnet Technology Solutions has added a new training and enablement program that covers a variety of data centre technologies and aims to connect the dots between the technologies represented under its SolutionPath programs.

Since beginning on the SolutionsPath journey years ago, the distributor has added new technology focus areas to the community, including networking, storage, security and virtualization, while keeping the common data centre theme. In fact, the data centre is the critical battlefield for Avnet and the resellers it supports.

Having built up the individual parts of its solution providers’ practices, it now wants to focus on building connections between those disciplines and focuses, said Tim FitzGerald, vice president of data centre technology solution practices for North America at Avnet.

“Now is the right time to build on that deep level of competence in a more holistic way, with a training and education curriculum in order to create more connections,” he said.

That’s because FitzGerald said VARs see the fastest growth opportunity where they’re able to match deep domain specialization with vertical industry knowledge – and connecting those two factors is a big part of the focus with Data Centre University.

The Data Centre University program will be structured much like the distributor’s other SolutionsPath University segments – a three-day program that features general sessions and breakouts, as well as a panel of CIOs from across a number of industries that will address the top problems they face in their roles.

The program will be offered to a larger class size than other SolutionsPath University programs, with FitzGerald saying that a class of 75 attendees is ideal. Time will be split between “main tent” general sessions for all attendees and breakouts addressing specific vertical opportunities. All breakouts will run frequently enough that all attendees will be able to attend all breakouts, FitzGerald said.

The program is developed for three kinds of attendees: the solution provider principal, owner or manger; solutions architects; and sales staff, with content to educate and develop all three groups.

The initial Data Centre University will be held next month (October) near Avnet’s headquarters in Phoenix, but FitzGerald said the program would go on the road to “provide education where our customers need it,” with likely stops including Toronto in the near future.

Behind the University component, Avnet will also role out tailored workshops that can be brought to a solution provider’s location and address that VAR’s particular issues and opportunities in the data centre market. In that way, it’s mirroring the kind of custom on-site training it’s introduced recently for its CloudReady program and other SolutionsPath segments.