The new programme is designed to help Avnet business partners develop expertise around the Microsoft solutions portfolio and to build a long-lasting and profitable Microsoft business. This initiative underlines Avnet’s investment in Microsoft and follows its recent success in becoming the only distribution company in the UK to achieve the Microsoft Gold Competency in Management and Virtualisation.
Avnet will offer Microsoft Star Partners a range of benefits to support them through every stage of the sales cycle including business planning, pricing and pre-sales support. Business Partners will have access to Microsoft accredited examinations and comprehensive e-learning programmes plus additional technical and sales training.
As part of the new programme, Avnet will invite its best-performing and most loyal business partners to be promoted to Club Partner status. This exclusive club of initially 40 members will gain privileged access to special financial incentives such as the Virtual Rewards programme. For example, Club Partner members will have the opportunity to earn virtual coins for attending training sessions or gaining a particular level of competency which they can then redeem against other training or marketing activities.
Avnet will help all Microsoft Star Partners to become trusted advisors on Microsoft products and to attract new customers. In particular Star Partners will receive advice and tips on how to develop their presence on the latest online channels and promote their expertise on the most high-profile social media networks.
Barry German, core software division director at Frontline Consultancy, an Avnet partner, said, “Avnet is exceptionally supportive and has played a major role in the development and growth of our Microsoft business. We look forward to joining Avnet’s Star Partner programme and will be looking at how we can obtain additional Microsoft competencies. We believe the new programme will provide both practical and financial benefits when winning new business and adding emerging Microsoft technologies to new deals.”
Avnet business development teams are aligned with Microsoft’s strategic product areas including business productivity, infrastructure and systems management, business intelligence and cloud services. This means that Avnet partners will gain the best possible know-how in selling and marketing critical parts of the Microsoft solutions set including SharePoint, Office, Systems Center, Forefront Security and SQL.
Taisha Betz, Microsoft business unit manager, Avnet Technology Solutions, UK, commented, “Today’s announcement highlights the strong relationship we have established with Microsoft over the years. These are exciting times for Avnet as we continue to develop initiatives that focus on delivering value for Microsoft and our business partners. With our new programme, we aim to reward the loyalty of our business partners with a range of tangible benefits that should demonstrably drive forward their Microsoft business.”
Avnet plans to combine the benefits of joining the programme with its unique SolutionsPath™ methodology, giving business partners a complete set of knowledge and resources necessary to deliver solutions into high-growth vertical markets.