The growing ubiquity of virtualization has changed the way networks are constructed and deployed, reducing the IT footprint in many companies through less hardware and, ostensibly, more control over resources. But in the midmarket, which demands much of the same computing power as the enterprise but often without the same IT support, many ISVs are moving toward a hardened appliance approach for their applications.
David Hutchinson, vice president, Enterprise Solution Sales at Avnet (NYSE: AVT), notes the appliance approach is simply a more cost-effective and efficient way of deploying applications. “If you look at the midmarket or industries where there are remote offices or branch offices and you need an on-premise deployment of an application, an appliance or appliance-like solution is a perfect way to get the job done,” he said. “It’s almost plug and play.”
Hardened appliances offer the security and performance software-based solutions often can’t, especially for applications that demand high data transfer and low latency, such as voice or video-enabled technologies--solutions that quickly are gaining ground in the midmarket. Other areas perfect for a hardened appliance solution include:
- Retail -- multiple store locations
- Financial -- bank and credit union branches
- Health care -- clinics and physicians’ practices
- Manufacturing -- with remote plants
For ISVs, taking a hardened appliance approach can help them get their solution downstream to the midmarket. “That can really be a challenge, especially if you have to treat each one as a complex opportunity,” Hutchinson said. “There is really no way to get scale out of that. So looking at pre-engineered or prebuilt solutions bundled with implementation services I think is a really cost-effective and more importantly a repeatable way of getting things done in that midmarket.”
Avnet, he noted, can help ISVs move into the hardened appliance space and get them exposed to the midmarket opportunity. “When you go beyond the application and get more into a complete solution, especially considering the underlying infrastructure that goes into supporting an application, you really start to venture outside the core capability and focus of an ISV, and that’s where you want to insert Avnet,” he said. Through the company’s integration services Avnet can build the appliances “in a repeatable fashion” to reduce costs. Couple that with Avnet’s global footprint and logistics capability, and ISVs have an in to the midmarket on an international level.
Plus, Avnet has beefed up its services offerings through a number of acquisitions, “which has given us capabilities around the whole lifecycle of services from implementation to support to repair and actual disposal of those appliance-based solutions,” he said.
“So when you net all that out, you couple a software vendor’s core competency with Avnet’s and you really have a cost-effective and efficient way to get appliance solutions out there in the market in a repeatable fashion,” Hutchinson said.