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Agreement turns Avnet sales force into RSA resellers, VCE partners

Avnet affiliated resellers can now sell RSA security products. This bid could boost Vblock sales, but channel conflict issues linger.

Beginning May 5, 2011, Avnet Inc. solution providers and reseller partners will be able to offer RSA security products to their customers.  The deal is intended to boost sales of Vblocks.    

Cisco Systems Inc., EMC Corp. and VMware Inc. formed the Virtual Computing Environment (VCE) coalition in 2009 to create and sell Vblocks, preconfigured stacks of servers, storage and virtualization software. 

“RSA is a critical component of the VCE Vblock for securing the virtual data center. Avnet fully supports Vblock through our distribution relationships with Cisco, EMC and VMware.” said Scott Look, vice president and general manager of Technology Infrastructure Solutions at Tempe, Ariz.-based Avnet Technology Solutions in an Avnet press release.

But Vblock sales have been slow, which was likely a major impetus for the Avnet-RSA announcement.  By adding Avnet’s cadre of more than 4,000 resellers in the U.S. and Canada, the coalition immediately gains a much larger sales force selling Vblocks. It remains to be seen whether the move will cause consternation among the existing set of Vblock-authorized partners.

Over the past year, there have been reports of channel conflict as VCE partners reported losing sales to VCE’s direct sale force. Industry observers believe the VCE coalition will need to resolve any remaining channel issues before Avnet solution providers will sell Vblocks with enthusiasm.

Other security vendors already supported by Avnet include Check Point Software Technologies Inc., CommVault, F5 Networks Inc., IronKey Inc. and Symantec Corp. RSA products for security, risk and compliance have been added to Avnet’s SecurePath line card. 

RSA has more than 100 channel partners around the world. Avnet will follow the RSA resellers channel program guidelines to determine which resellers will have access to the Avnet SecurePath engagement program.

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