Just last week we wrote about Rick Hamada taking the CEO reins at Avnet, and wondered whether he might be shifting the company to a cloudy horizon. We reached out for and received Hamada's thoughts as well as comments from Phil Gallagher, Avnet senior vice president and global president of Avnet Technology Solutions, on the future of the cloud. Read on for the forecast ...

As CEO, Rick Hamada believes Avnet has "good momentum" for the future, based on his involvement in past and current Avnet strategies in his previous role as COO. Because of this, Hamada humorously noted he doesn't have "a top secret file of new initiatives" he plans on trying out.

But more seriously, Hamada said Avnet's goals will be focused around "continuity," and making sure that partners, suppliers and resellers are strongly supported and given the best tools available. Hamada did suggest that for Avnet and resellers alike, the data center is an area to focus on, since it is a likely location where partners could offer solutions to customers' biggest challenges. Hamada also suggested partners take advantage of the SolutionPath services.

But of course, the cloud is not to be ignored, since cloud and data center go hand-in-hand. Hamada noted the cloud is "not just a passing fad," but rather, "where the channel's adaptability and resiliency can shine." Hamada isn't sure "how much and how fast" the cloud will proliferate and where it is headed, but said cloud computing will even affect the way Avnet runs its own internal IT. Avnet will be "actively developing opportunities for our business partners," he said, including education and training programs designed to help partners understand and excel with the latest and greatest technology.

Phil Gallagher's sentiments about the cloud echoed Hamada thoughts. "It’s often one of the first things I get asked about," Gallagher said, and stressed it is a great opportunity for both Avnet and its partners. The distributor is continually looking to "capitalize on new options and opportunities" when it comes to cloud, and Avnet wants to offer those opportunities to its partners as soon as possible. Gallagher said Avnet also will continue to work with its vendor suppliers to create specialized cloud solutions, referencing the HP Cloud Center of Excellence as one such collaboration.

Gallagher said there will be similar moves with other vendors in the future, but neither Gallagher nor Hamada commented on Avnet's love of HP as of late. Conspiracy? Not likely, but if Avnet does indeed make more specialized moves with vendors, it'll be interesting to see how large and how frequent those moves are made with the same vendors.

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