Avnet adds HP Software expertise with Pepperweed buy

Jeff Bawol Avnet

Avnet Technology Solutions Americas chief Jeff Bawol

Avnet Technology Solutions has announced plans to purchase Sewickley, Penn.-based Pepperweed Consulting, an HP Software-focused partner and the latest in the distributor’s moves to bolster its vendor-specific consulting and services business.

Tony Vottima, head of Avnet’s HP business unit in the Americas, said the 16-year-old Pepperweed holds a number of distinctions, including status as HP’s “premier software business partner” and its largest cloud implementation partner.

“It’s been no secret that we want to continue to enable our VARs to grow, and we believe Pepperweed is a natural part of selling more services, more HP software, and ultimately more HP hardware,” said Jeff Bawol, president of Avnet Technology Solutions in the Americas.

Pepperweed, focused on software-based consulting, has long worked with other solution providers, Vottima said – in fact, in recent years its rolled out its own partner program and has worked with a variety of solution providers as influencers and sub-contractors. Pepperweed has done business in Canada in the past, and Vottima said the Avnet Canada team will work to connect Pepperweed’s capabilities with a broader set of partners. “We have a real opportunity for growth around it,” he said.

Vottima noted that Pepperweed’s business is well suited to Avnet’s vertical focuses under its SolutionsPath methodology, with strengths in (U.S.) federal, healthcare and retail, and “key customers in banking” that Vottima said the distributor believes it can expand to it its broader financial vertical focus.

The move is the distributor’s latest acquisition to build up its services offerings – earlier this year, it acquired IBM-focused partner Ascendant Technology and lifecycle management services specialist Canvas Systems. So Pepperweed can expect a quick and painless onboarding, with the Avnet brand starting to appear within the next 30 days.

“We’ve become pretty good at doing acquisitions, and we’re known for how well we integrate both best practices and best teams,” Bawol said.

Over the first month, Pepperweed will get accustomed to being part of the larger distributor, then branding changes will happen, and Avnet will likely start to formalize its partner programs, Bawol said.

Meanwhile, Avnet is likely to continue to make targeted acquisitions that add to its services bench strength, a key part of the business model that it defines as solution distribution, and the company’s primary differentiator in the market.

“We talk about helping our partners grow, and our tagline is ‘accelerating your success,’ so we’re always looking for any kind of acquisitions to help our partners grow and be more profitable,” Bawol said. “These kinds of acquisitions do that for us. They help us invest in both our key suppliers and our partners, and help them growth their services, hardware and software businesses.”