Avnet bringing public sector practice to Canada

Broomfield, Colo. – Whilevalue-added distributor Avnet Technology Solutions (ATS) (NYSE: AVT) may beexcited about its Latin American and Asian expansion plans, ATS Americaspresident Jeff Bawhol singled-out Canada during his keynote at the Summitpartner conference as a bright-spot for Avnet that didn’t experience the downturnto the same degree as the rest of the Americas.

Brian Aeig, who leads Avnet’s Canadian business as vice-presidentand general manager for ATS Canada, told CDN their fiscalyear ended in June and the Canadian business finished very strongly. Canada weathered the recession well, not fallingto the depths of the U.S.and coming out of it sooner.

“We recorded growth across the board in Canada inall fiscal metics, and across all brands,” said Aebig.

And as the rest of the economy moves into growthmode, Avnet is planning to bring several new initiatives to Canada to fuelfurther partner growth. Foremost among the, is bringing GovPath, Avnet’sSolutionPath focused around the opportunity in the public-sector vertical, tothe Canadian market.

“We’re in development of the Canadian version ofGovPath as we speak, and we hope to have something ready the end of this year,in preparation for the federal government year-end buying season,” said Aebig.“We’ll initially focus on the federal government, but with some interestingtwists. There’s a lot of federal business bring transacted outside of the Ottawa area, and we needa strong VAR community serving that non-Ottawa business.”

Avnet is also working to bring more of its vertical-focusedSolutionPath programs to Canada. The distributor recently announced plans fornew programs around retail, energy/utilities and banking, and Aebig said hehopes to bring those programs to Canada shortly after they launch in the U.S.later this year.

“The SolutionPath program has two sides, thevertical segments and the technology segments. The technology transfers verybroadly because technology is the same in Canada as in the U.S., but thevertical segment paths often have to be customized for our audience,” saidAebig. “We’ll be evaluating the details of the Canadian opportunity andcreating Canadian versions. Canada typically trails a little back of the U.S.,we let them get their feed underneath and then we customize.”

Aebig added Avnet’s vendor partners in Canada have allexpressed interest in the three new SolutionPaths as being verychannel-friendly plays in Canada.

Follow Jeff Jedras on Twitter:@JeffJedrasCDN.

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