Avnet (symbol: AVT), the IT distributor, is buying Ascendant Technology LLC -- a premier IBM business partner with operating units in North America, Europe, Brazil and India. Ascendant generated about $90 million in sales during the 2011 calendar year, Avnet indicated. So, how will Avnet leverage Ascendant, especially while engaging IBM channel partners?

As you may recall, Avnet Technology Solutions has businesses initiatives that focus on specific vendor offerings -- particularly Cisco Systems, Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Oracle-Sun, among others. Avnet also offers SolutionsPath guidance in specific vertical markets like healthcare, government, retail and more.

According to Phil Gallagher, global president, Avnet Technology Solutions, the Ascendant acquisition:
"supports our strategic focus on enhancing our services and software capabilities to drive growth for our suppliers and value-added resellers. Because of Ascendant’s international footprint, Avnet’s ability to identify new services and solution business opportunities for our partners will greatly expand.”
Read between the lines, and Avnet seems to be tactfully stating that it won't sell Ascendant's services directly to end customers. Instead, the Ascendant services will flow through technology partners and the IBM-centric channel.

Avnet indicated that the acquisition is expected to close within 45 days, assuming it receives regulatory approval.