As Sun Microsystems partners gather for this week's Avnet Compass 2009 conference in Denver, many VARs are looking ahead to Oracle's anticipated buyout of Sun; the pending deal could gain regulatory approval by the end of August. In the meantime, cue Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers:  "The Waiting is the Hardest Part." Here's why.

For starters, the pending Oracle-Sun deal apparently has sent some would-be Sun customers into IBM's open arms, reports CNet. Forbes expands the story, starting that both HP and IBM have been taking business from Sun in recent weeks. Plus, regulators might be concerned about antitrust issues related to the pending Oracle-Sun combo.

Still, IT industry chatter suggests the Oracle-Sun deal could be official by the end of August. Plus, Avnet itself is signaling an improved IT landscape. Roy Vallee, chief executive of Avnet Inc. (AVT), said that after months of declining inventories and halted production, the supply chain has "right-sized" itself relative to lower levels of demand, according to the Dow Jones newswire.

Staying Focused at Avnet

Meanwhile, Avnet Technology Solutions is working hard to maintain the focus of its Avnet Compass 09 conference -- designed specifically for Sun partners and hosted this week in  Denver.

To Avnet's credit, the solutions distributor has focused the event conversation on (A) sales strategies and (B) recent momentum in the government market. Fact is, neither Avnet nor Sun can really comment about the pending Oracle deal and its potential implications for VARs.

Instead, Avnet has focused early event news on Avnet SolutionsPath Playbooks. According to a press release, the playbooks are:
"Designed for reseller partners in North America, these online Playbooks serve as comprehensive, time-saving reference guides on how to solve specific customer challenges. These in-depth sales toolkits group offerings from key suppliers into detailed solutions, backed by a library of supporting tools and resources. They are designed to help partners prepare for sales calls, determine what types of solutions are available from suppliers, access services and generate leads to build their pipelines. Approximately 75 playbooks will be available initially, focusing on technology markets such as virtualization, security and storage and vertical solutions for the government and healthcare markets."
Avnet also is talking up momentum in the government market. According to a press release from Avnet Compass 09:
"Since the Avnet GovPath practice was launched in April 2008, Avnet value-added resellers partners who have taken advantage of the practice's tools, consulting and university have achieved an average revenue growth rate of 32% year-over-year and even reached an average growth rate in the triple digits in some product lines."
Sounds impressive. But a lot of Sun VARs will feel a whole lot better once they have clarity on the pending Oracle-Sun combo. And that clarity could arrive in a matter of weeks.

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