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Lynn Haber

Channel Partners senior editor Lynn Haber takes aim at new technology, partner programs and more as they pertain to the IT channel.

Tech Data's Avnet Buy a Sign of the Times

- Blog

Lynn HaberJust a couple of months ago, Avnet Technology Solutions shifted its business model, creating five new specialist business units – Data Center; Cloud; Security and Enterprise Network Solutions; Data Analytics, Cognitive Computing and IoT; and Mobility – to debut its solutions specialist vision. In EMEA and the Americas, Avnet added an additional solutions unit: Educational Services.

At the time, the distributor attributed the strategic readjustment to digital transformation.

Well, today’s news that Avnet agreed to sell its Technology Solution Business unit to Tech Data for $2.6 billion reminds us about the hit digital transformation and the buyer's journey are taking on the IT ecosystem, i.e. technology distributors, IT vendors, businesses and partners.

Earlier this year, Ingram Micro agreed to be purchased for $6 billion by Tianjin Tianhai, a Chinese shipping group. And more recently, in August, ScanSource announced that it would acquire Intelisys Communications, the first marriage between compute and connectivity distributors.

If you haven’t already gotten the memo, the days of pick, pack and ship distribution are out and services – or better yet, distribution-as-a-service – are in.

Research from the Global Technology Distribution Council (GTDC) found that distributors offer more than three-dozen services and new technologies, such as cloud, mobility, Internet of Things (IoT) and hyperconverged infrastructure represent massive shifts in how distributors opt to differentiate themselves.

“Moving forward, Avnet will focus its resources and investments on becoming a leader in design-chain and supply-chain services not only for our current customers and suppliers, but also for new markets. We will drive targeted investments in embedded solutions, Internet of Things (IoT) and critical digital platforms," Avnet CEO William Amelio said.

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