Changing the Channel: Networking VAR news

Mar 29 2010   9:51AM GMT

Avnet set to acquire Bell Micro

ElaineHom Elaine Hom Profile: ElaineHom

Avnet, one of the largest distributors in the channel, has announced its acquistion of Bell Micro, a storage-centric distributor, in an all-cash merger. The deal is expected to close in the next 60 to 120 days.

Bell is a major distributor in the storage channel, with sales of close to $3 billion in 2009. Avnet is a bit more spread in terms of what it distributes, but it’s also well-known in the channel for being a distributor that puts a little extra effort forth with its partners. For example, Avnet provides training and schooling for partners trying to break into verticals, including its HealthPath university. With HealthPath, partners are trained in health IT and are even immersed in hospitals, following administrators and other staff, to understand the role IT plays in day-to-day operations.

So what does this mean for Avnet partners? Well, in the past few months, more networking solution providers have realized the importance of understanding and offering storage services. Quite frankly, without an efficient storage network, the actual network doesn’t work. And without an efficient network, stored data has nowhere to go.

Both of these areas need to work hand-in-hand, and both Bell Micro and Avnet partners are benefiting from this deal. Avnet networking partners who hadn’t previously offered storage can now begin to educate themselves on the topic and offer NAS or SANs alongside other networking services. Bell Micro partners who hadn’t expanded beyond storage can begin to think about now the networking services to ensure speedy delivery of the stored data.

Stay tuned for more information as this story develops.

Are you an Avnet partner or a Bell Micro partner? We’d love to hear what you have to say about this deal. Email me at

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