Q&A: Comprehensive Solutions For OEMs & Channel Partners

Avnet Embedded, a division of Avnet, Inc., announced the launch of its new Rorke Global Solutions™ earlier in July. The business unit will be headed by Chuck Kostalnick, senior vice president of Avnet Embedded, and will deliver comprehensive solutions that meld hardware, software and services in support of the unique business requirements of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), independent software vendors (ISVs), and channel partners. Industrial Distribution recently had the chance to speak with Mr. Kostalnick about the new venture and what it would mean for Avnet customer.

ID: What sort of issues or gaps are OEMs experiencing that Avnet’s new business unit is hoping to solve?

Kostalnick: OEMs - both those who build an end product or build products for their internal usage - and Independent Software Vendors (ISV) face a common challenge. Specifically, getting to market quickly and efficiently concurrent with operating in an environment of scarce resources and personnel whose specialized skills are concentrated around the differentiating aspects of their offering. Given this challenge, customers can leverage Rorke Global Solutions (RGS) to fill in the gaps in terms of off-the-shelf or customized products, software stack development and draw from a complete set of services designed around each stage of the product lifecycle. Our value extends beyond these foundational resources by incorporating our team, who has direct experience with the markets our customers serve, and a disciplined set of processes and practices which ensure quality and scale to accommodate growth and market expansion. In the end, customers can focus their resources on their core competencies and partner with RGS to deliver the rest of the required functions.

ID: What kind of a history/background does Rorke have? What makes them uniquely able to assist OEMs and vendors in the marketplace?

Kostalnick: RGS is a natural extension of the original Rorke model that has been in place for over 20 years. The foundation has been built on a consultative, solution-oriented approach to delivering an overall engagement which now encompasses the entire business process. For instance, our customers have used our technical call center support service as a means of providing their customers with support once systems are deployed in the field. Moving forward the infusion of additional resources from Avnet Embedded and the global scale Avnet brings to the table has enabled the expansion of the RGS model into new markets and new technologies.

What makes RGS unique is our all-encompassing portfolio of hardware, software and services which can be adapted to meet the needs of any market segment. Our team has the know-how to configure the complete business model and service level agreements that help our customers get to market faster, with an overall lower total cost of development and deployment. Other companies are adept at pieces of the solution, forcing the customer to play general contractor for a variety of disparate offerings, but none can compare to the fully integrated approach RGS delivers.

ID: How does this process operate? Is it taking existing technologies and using APIs to meld them together/allow them to communicate, or something completely different?

Kostalnick: Integrating APIs could be a piece of the solution, but engaging with RGS encompasses a whole lot more. The process starts with us listening to what the customer’s objectives are in terms of what success looks like to them, and the challenges keeping them from realizing their vision for success. From there, we work with them to determine their priorities in terms of tradeoffs and “must haves” vs. “nice to haves.” Once we understand the overall expectations, we get to work crafting the business model and service-level agreements. This model not only includes the hardware and software elements but also other services related to product development, deployment, and asset recovery once the product has reached the end of its service life. We also offer leasing and rental services to further assist our customers with capital optimization.

When we consider the technology elements within a solution, we don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach. We draw from a wide range of options which cover the gamut of architectures and levels of integration in order to align with the optimal experience our customer is seeking to deliver. We then look at how each of the technology pieces fit within the overall application and design for both efficient integration and interoperability. We are able to customize the bridges between the distinct system elements with standard software and/or customized APIs and applications.

A great example would be our work with a major retail chain looking to implement digital signage, security, surveillance and building management within their outlets and connect them to the central headquarters. Understanding all of the requirements upfront and the distinct sites for deployment enabled us to craft a proposal that not only included the hardware configuration, but also installation services and advanced replacements with warranty/repair to minimize downtime in the field. This solution is scalable and repeatable which ensures our customer provides consistency to their customers in terms of branding and overall in-store experience.

For more information, please visit www.rorke.com.