Avnet sharpens its Africa focus

Mahmoud Al Salhi, Sales Director Africa, Avnet Technology Solutions MEA

Avnet Technology Solutions, a global distributor leader and part of Avnet, Inc has extended its focus on the fast growing African market by investing heavily in the resources with a dedicated team of highly skilled sales, technical, financial and marketing professionals to expand its footprint across the continent. Avnet is also expanding its portfolio of products, solutions and services for solution providers on the African continent.

A recent IDC forecast states that IT spending on the African continent will grow by 10% to touch US$ 25 Billion in 2011. South Africa is expected to grow by 7.5% in 2011, while Egypt will continue to grow rapidly at over 15% and the spending in the rest of Africa will grow at 12% to go past US$ 10 Billion in 2011.

To keep up with the growth on the continent, Avnet Technology Solutions is also rapidly expanding its reach across Africa. Avnet has an office in South Africa in addition to direct presence in Egypt, Nigeria and Morocco.

Sue Campbell, account manager Southern Africa, Avnet Technology Solutions MEA, says the South Africa office of Avnet is the hub for the entire Southern African region and it covers other countries that include Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland. “With our value add and innovative approach, we have found lot of positive response from the partners across the Southern Africa,” says Campbell.

Avnet has introduced a new innovative way to educate the partner community and recently held a series of special training programmes called “HP Storage Academy” in association with HP and Brocade in South Africa, Egypt and Kenya.

Avnet has also launched the Avnet Financial Services to its partners in Africa. The initiative offers flexible financial solutions to channel partners like open trade credit, bank guarantees, individual project financing and Letter of credit facilities to add more value to their businesses.

The Academy received overwhelming response and was attended by partners hailing from countries like South Africa, Egypt, Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana, Swaziland, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia.

The HP Storage Academy presented an overview of HP Storage portfolio including 3Par and addressed the latest trends, challenges and pain points that partners face in Africa. The Academy also educates channel partners on the importance of designing efficient storage solutions and enhancing their skill-sets.

Mahmoud Al Salhi, sales director Africa, Avnet Technology Solutions MEA, adds that Africa is key to the company’s overall growth strategy for the Middle East and Africa region. “We are investing heavily in resources to service our partners and provide them with best of breed technology,” Al Salhi says. “Our Value Added Services model ensures that our partners make decent margins. Programmes like HP Storage Academy allow partners to stay abreast with the latest technologies and offers tight solutions to end-users.”

The academy highlighted the importance of “right” storage architectures to support virtualised IT infrastructure, more efficient storage closely integrated with the server. It also presented the simple and easy ways to manage business continuity and high availability solutions.