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Avnet’s renewable resource

Avnet’s renewable resource 

It’s not uncommon for some resellers to have multiple contracts with different product suppliers, and managing those contracts and the customer data associated with each can sometimes be a hassle. Bearing this in mind, Avnet has developed a new service portal that will assist with this process.

Known as Avnet uRenew, the portal provides partners with the ability to capture annuity revenue streams while dispensing data and analytics related to renewal tracking, opportunity management and sales transformation. uRenew also creates a collaborative portal for partners, allowing them to examine service renewals across their entire channel ecosystem in a single interface.

Larry Fulop, vice president and general manager of supplier services for Avnet Technology Solutions, Americas sheds some light on this new service, and how it will help to simplify the channel landscape and strengthen the relationship between partners and suppliers.

IT in Canada: What led to the development of Avnet uRenew?
Fulop: We made a strategic decision to put more focus and emphasis on our renewal business. We started trying to create a better focus for our partners, our suppliers and Avnet around this base of the business. As we were doing that, we learned very quickly that we needed to enhance our tool capability.

As we looked at all the different suppliers, we made the decision to go forth and put the emphasis around a tool that was set up for our customers and our partners to be able to go in and see their maintenance and renewals that were coming up for expiration.

ITIC: Why is now the time for a product like this?
LF: We feel that there is a real need (for this product) within our partner community. There is also an opportunity within our partner community in this service space. We think there is money left on the table from our partners, and we think this tool drives a higher retention and renewal rate for our partners. That is the reason for the timing, and that is the reason why we are excited about launching a program and a product like this.

ITIC: What benefits does uRenew offer for channel partners?
LF: uRenew is a customer-based portal that allows them to go in and see all of their renewals that are coming up or are expired in one place. I always use an example where I say “Hey, my renewals that are coming up expired on April 30. I can now go in and see all of the products that I buy from Avnet in one place. If I’m buying HP and IBM from Avnet, I can now go in and see all those renewals that are about to expire.”

ITIC: How does uRenew help to improve the relationship between partners and end users?
LF: I think the biggest advantage of uRenew is that is allows the partner to be proactive in their conversation with the end user. As a partner, you can select how far in advance you want to see the renewals that are coming up; you can go as far back as 180 days, for example.

You can then start having that conversation with the end user about how a certain product is coming to the end of its life cycle and discuss whether you want to renew or refresh this product, and what you want to do with it. To me, it’s a proactive sales tool that allows them to have a better relationship with their end users.

ITIC: How does uRenew assist with the management of customer data and analytics?
LF: I think the analytics that come from it are the biggest advantage of uRenew as a tool. Whether you’re a sales rep for one of our partners or an executive, you now have the ability to see how much is available to renew at the end of a month or a quarter.

You might be able to say “Hey, our month is coming up, and we still have $6 million in outstanding renewals. We’ve closed $2 million; how can we go and close this remaining $4 million?” All of the data and analytics are there, and it also keeps track of lost and available opportunities.

To me, one of the most interesting things about uRenew is you don’t necessarily have to go into the tool; you can set up a subscription for this type of data and data mining. For example, every Monday morning, I now receive a report via my email that comes from the tool and basically tells me about all of my outstanding opportunities. It gives me a high level of exposure into what’s coming up from an opportunity perspective. We call that a subscription service.

ITIC: What are the future plans for this product?
LF: We have many future plans and different ideas for uRenew. Today, we are linked completely with four of our suppliers – HP, IBM, Oracle and Cisco. What I mean by that is all of the data that’s up for renewal is coming from the Avnet system. With those four suppliers, we’re able to get data from their systems, do a comparison against Avnet’s data, and make sure that all of that data that’s in uRenew features current and up-to-date information.

What we would like to do – and we’ve already started doing this with some of our other suppliers – is include their information as well to do the same comparison against Avnet’s data and keep that (process) ongoing. That is one of the features we want to add for those suppliers from a B2B type of function.

Another thing we’ve been asked for by our partners is if they did buy a certain product from Avnet, how can they get it on uRenew so that they have only one portal for all of their renewals?

The third thing we want to do is (integrate) quoting into the tool. If you’re doing proactive quoting, we now have the ability to place the partner’s logo on that quote. Those are some of the features we have in store for uRenew.

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