Welcome, neighbors, to Distribution Watch, our weekly collection of all things distribution-related. This week we’ve got news from Tech Data (TECD), D&H Distributing and Avnet (AVT), so grab your cardigan, tie up your sneakers and let’s get going.

Tech Data: The global distribution behemoth announced Microsoft Beyond!, an enablement program designed to help solution providers grow their Microsoft business. Microsoft Beyond! includes an opt-in rewards program, education, marketing kits and incentives across four main focus areas of business growth: productivity, data center, business intelligence and cloud, according to the company.

Through the Microsoft Beyond! program, solution providers will have access to the Microsoft Manufacturer Store, providing the following resources for partner readiness:

  • Enablement tools for sales, marketing and technical support
  • Weekly live educational webinars focused on sales and technical support
  • Customized marketing and selling kits resellers can share with their end customers

The Microsoft Beyond! program includes an opt-in rewards program for Tech Data solution providers. For participating resellers, every dollar spent will equate to eligibility to win valuable marketing incentives through resellerCONNECT, powered by TDAgency.

D&H Distributing: The computer products and consumer electronics distributor has enhanced its CRM capabilities through Microsoft (MSFT) Dynamics CRM, and plans to  integrate the offering with targeted, content-rich marketing and communications campaigns to more proactively support and educate its reseller customers, the distributor said.

Through the new CRM-based marketing initiative, D&H will offer marketing “Power Kits,” which provide VARs with brandable brochure templates and vendor materials that complement each recipient’s individual business. The objective is to empower participating resellers with a communications package to help them engage end customers regarding a particular brand or solution, according to D&H.

The distributor noted the new CRM capabilities will allow D&H personnel to better target the appropriate recipients for these customizable resources. The Power Kits will be rolled out to resellers starting late in the fourth quarter and continue into Q1 2014.

Avnet: The Phoenix-based distribution company has been named to the 2013 Gartner Supply Chain Top 25 Ranking: The Next 25. Avnet was evaluated for its multitier supply chain and cost-to-serve analytical capabilities.

“We feel that as a global distribution leader with more than 90 years of supply management experience, Avnet is uniquely positioned to help our customers and supplier partners optimize their supply chains,” said Gerry Fay, global president of Avnet Electronics Marketing, and former chief global logistics and operations officer, Avnet.

This is the first year Avnet has been recognized in Gartner’s supply chain ranking. Avnet also manages large elements of the technology supply chains of several of the companies on the list. Avnet delivers globally available, rapidly scalable, customized supply chain solutions to the direct market for electronic components and equipment.

And that’s this week’s Distribution Watch. Tune in next week, neighbors, and see what’s happening in the distribution neighborhood. Until then, stay safe.