Apologies to the Geico “hump day” commercial, but Guess What Day It Is!! The day you’ve been waiting for all week, Distribution Watch day. This week we’ve got disty news from Tech Data (TECD) and Avnet (AVT), so take a seat, pull up the talking camel commercial on YouTube and let’s get started!

Tech Data: The distribution behemoth celebrated the grand opening of its expanded Solutions Center at its headquarters in Clearwater, Fla., featuring a 6,000-square-foot IT solutions lab to enable customers to visualize a full end-to-end solution. The Solutions Center is available to business owners, technicians, sales and end users.

"The Tech Data Solutions Center showcases the latest technology, offers both hands-on and remote training, and delivers unified communications to our partners, customers and their end users," said Pete Peterson, senior vice president, U.S. Sales at Tech Data. "Technology is constantly advancing, and the Solutions Center provides complete, all-encompassing solutions that enable our partners to learn and grow their business, all in one location."

Within the Solutions Center, Schneider Electric created the "Data Center Xperience" that includes racks, power and cooling infrastructure. Included in the launch, Schneider Electric installed the following into the Solutions Center:

  • Symmetra PX 100KW modular UPS
  • Hot Aisle Containment System (HACS)
  • Modular PDU/Breaker system
  • InRow cooling
  • Uniflair perimeter cooling
  • StruXureware DCIM software
  • NetBotz physical security and environmental monitoring

Schneider Electric's Xperience Center provides Tech Data with access to all of the data and tools needed to operate the data centers.

The new experiences housed in the Solutions Center include the Systems & PeripheralsExperience Center, the BYOD Technology Center, the revamped Medical Pavilion and TDCloud demos. New technologies on display in the Solutions Center include offerings from Brocade (BRCD), Cisco Systems (CSCO), EMC (EMC), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), IBM (IBM), LifeSize, McAfee, Microsoft (MSFT), Oracle (ORCL), Symantec (SYMC) and VMware (VMW).

Avnet: Avnet Technology Solutions, the IT distribution arm of our friends in Phoenix, received two Cisco Partner Summit Global awards. Avnet was selected as the Cisco Global Distribution Partner of the Year, and it was also honored as the Cisco Worldwide Data Center Distributor of the Year, for the second consecutive year.

Cisco Partner Summit Global awards recognize exemplary channel partners who demonstrate best-in-class business practices and serve as a model to the industry. Areas of consideration include innovative practices, application successes, unique programs, problem-solving and sales approaches.

"These awards highlight the tremendous dedication of Avnet’s Cisco team in helping our solution providers capitalize on the converged data center market opportunities," said Pete Rzonca, vice president and general manager, Avnet Technology Solutions, Americas, Cisco Solutions group. "Avnet’s unique capabilities to develop and assemble complete data center solutions across the entire Cisco ecosystem, coupled with our renowned technology and vertical market enablement programs, have helped Cisco rapidly penetrate the data center market."

Cisco Partner Summit Global awards reflect the top-performing partners within specific technology markets across all geographical regions. All award recipients are selected by a group of Cisco Worldwide Partner Organization and regional executives.

And that’s this week’s Distribution Watch. We’ll be on break next week recuperating from celebrating the U.S. Independence Day. Meanwhile, stay safe.