Avnet Builds Practice+ Around HP Analytics

Tony Vottima Avnet

Tony Vottima, Avnet services chief

Distributor Avnet Technology Solutions’ HP business group has launched a new program aimed at Big Data and analytics opportunities for channel partners. Dubbed Practice+ for Analytics, the program introduces services to help channel partners take advantage of opportunities around HP’s Vertica analytics products, offering “bench depth” services as well as training and enablement to help partners build up their own expertise.

The program closely follows the model Avnet has championed for nearly a decade with its SolutionPath series of programs – find a new or under-served channel opportunity, build up specific expertise around that opportunity, and then train and enable interested channel partners. Analytics fits the mold well.

“It’s reasonably new, and a lot of our resellers don’t have a lot of depth around analytics as of yet,” Vottima said. At the same time, with the weight of HP behind Vertica, he reported that some of the company’s partners are starting to build up a business around the analytics offerings. For those partners, the company will offer additional resources, and design and implementation support around Vertica offerings.

But the bigger opportunity for Avnet is with the groups of partners who are just now entering the analytics sphere, particularly those who’ve built their business around data management, and are now exploring ways to add value by extracting value from that managed data.

“That’s where the world’s headed today, that’s the race – the ability get information out of all of this data, to make it reliable and easy to access, and outputting useful information as well,” Vottima said. “Every customer out there has to deal with an incredible amount of data.”

The group will offer a number of services and resources, including architects for demonstrations and developing solutions roadmaps, an analytics assessment offering, partner training and enablement, demand-generation planning, proof-of-concept systems and implementation services around HP’s Vertica Analytics Platform, and a package of custom implementation services around HP Vertica and Hadoop. The group will also lean on the various SolutionsPath practices for specific vertical expertise.

The overall Avnet strategy is to find emerging technologies, and “make investments ahead of” the company’s partners to both build a business for Avnet and smooth the road for partners. As Vottima puts it, the distributor’s goal is to make disruptive opportunities look like just opportunities to its partners.

While Practice+ is clearly focused on the company’s HP-centered business unit, HP is not the only Avnet vendor with a significant investment in analytics – other Avnet vendors with significant offerings in the space include Oracle, EMC, and especially IBM. Vottima suggested that the distributor will likely roll out similar packages of services and expertise to enable those groups of partners, although he said the Practice+ brand itself will be only used with the HP business group.