Avnet Partner Solutions Debuts Simplified Order Management Service

New offering from value-added technology distributor integrates independent sales process into unified interface

New offering from value-added technology distributor integrates independent sales process into unified interface

San Antonio — September 1, 2004 — Value-added technology distributor Avnet Partner Solutions has rolled out a new interactive and informational service designed to simplify order management with the goals of improving efficiencies and helping its partners deliver better customer service.

Avnet Partner Solutions is a value-added distributor and provider of enterprise servers, storage, software and services, providing solutions from such manufacturers as EMC, HP, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle and StorageTek.

The new service, codenamed "Request to Order," is available through Avnet Partner Solutions' Channel Connection system. Request to Order integrates the independent sales processes of today's complex solutions into a unified interface, Avnet said, creating an environment that more closely resembles the partner's typical sales cycle and providing a consistent order process along the entire supply chain.

According to Avnet, the streamlined order system allows business partners to submit configuration requests and quotation requests across all Avnet Partner Solutions' brands and product lines. By connecting all pre-sales transactions to one original customer deal, the productivity in the order process is significantly increased, Avnet asserted.

All information pertaining to a deal is visible to partners 24x7 through Channel Connection, enabling them to provide faster and more complete communications to their customers. The improved efficiencies allow partners to put more focus on new sales opportunities while simultaneously improving their level of service to customers on current projects, driving growth, Avnet said.

"By linking all requests to the original deal, we can easily update an order and follow its progression through the sales cycle," said Rob Anderson, president of Pinnacle Business Systems. "This becomes particularly important when selling solutions comprised of multiple brands. The flexibility inherent in Request to Order will definitely support our efforts in solution selling and improve the satisfaction levels of our customers."

A key advantage of the service, according to Avnet, is its collaboration capabilities. At each step in the sales cycle, Request to Order provides interactive communication opportunities among partners and the Avnet Partner Solutions salespersons assigned to each request. Consistent collaboration helps improve the accuracy of requests and accelerates the order process, Avnet said.

"Our ongoing commitment to our partners is to find new ways to help them grow, while taking costs out of their business," said Fred J. Cuen, president, Avnet Partner Solutions, IBM Americas. "By aggregating the sales process across all the brands that are available through Avnet Partner Solutions, we make it easier for our partners to deliver total solutions for their customers. This increases efficiencies and reduces their operating costs, allowing them to focus more resources on growing their business."

In addition to streamlining the sales process, Request to Order also ties the deal — and, ultimately, the final order — with the sales lead. Integration with Avnet Partner Solutions' SMARTracker system closes the loop between marketing and sales, Avnet said. The system helps partners identify the origin of leads and validates the investments in marketing activities in both proposed and closed business.

"The Request to Order service will go a long way toward making it easier for solution providers to do business with Avnet and ultimately IBM," said Donn Atkins, general manager for IBM Global Business Partners. "Not only will Avnet's partners be more productive, but IBM also will be better positioned to enable our business partners to be more successful."