Distributor Avnet Technology Solutions’ Avnet Services division is getting into maintenance technical support, signing on videoconferencing company Polycom as its first customer.
Avnet, which has been distributing Polycom products since June 2012, has gained the Polycom RealPresence Services Specialization, giving it the ability to provide level one (diagnosing the customer) and level two (first level technical assistance) support for Polycom’s RealPresence services. Resellers will be able to select the bundled Avnet service with Polycom products, or default to first-line support from the vendor. Solution providers with the appropriate technical support center chops can also take on the first-line support themselves.
But for many partners, for whom rolling out their own technical support on a 24/7 or near-24/7 basis is unwieldy at best, it’s a way to better support customers, said Scott Delaney, vice president of business development for Avnet Services.
“It gives solution providers some options in terms of weathering that kind of investment, and it positions Avnet to be able to do things more flexibly,” Delany said.
As well as providing the services as a SKU, the distributor will look to combine the support services with other aspects of its services business, a piece of growing importance to Avnet that offers a variety of professional and managed services option to and through the channel.
The distributor is currently offering “expanded business hours” support of 8:00 am Eastern to 8:00 pm Pacific, five days a week. Delaney said the company can expand the services offering to 24/7 service if there’s enough demand from the reseller base.
While this is the company’s first first-level technical supports pact with a vendor partner, the distributor sees opportunity to expand that to multiple vendors. Delaney said the company is in talks about similar deals with other vendor partners, and as those come on-line, the company’s technical support efforts could really become higher value to solution provider, providing a one-stop technical support presence that can triage and diagnose problems in multi-vendor environments. The company currently has a team of 100 on first-line support, so it has the capacity to add additional vendor supports, Delaney said.
“I think it will work well for pretty common solutions, and to support big projects in the enterprise, and in the SLED market where you as a reseller may need a technical assistance center,” Delaney said.
Introduced earlier this year, the Avnet Services division is focused on three categories: software, lifecycle, and education services. By combining its services offerings on one place, the distributor hopes to both raise the profile of its efforts, and find ways to bring more of its services together into combined offerings for solution providers.