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Ribbon Communications: Shifting supply chain economics with Avnet Integrated

Fiber optics

About Ribbon Communications

Ribbon Communications provides advanced network solutions that deliver reliable, scalable and secure communications for service providers, telecommunications carriers and enterprises in more than 100 countries worldwide. Known for its industry-leading Session Border Controller (SBC) security and network Intelligence portfolio, Ribbon Communications offers a complete portfolio of hardware-based and virtualized SBCs, Diameter Signaling Controllers (DSCs), Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) capabilities, policy/routing servers and media and signaling gateways. These products enable businesses to embrace the next generation of Session-Initiated Protocol (SIP) and 4G/LTE solutions including VoIP, video, instant messaging and online collaboration.

The challenge

Ribbon Communications utilizes an outsourced inventory management and integration model. Its customer Service Level Agreements (SLAs) require the company (and its supply chain partners) to have enough inventory on-hand to fulfill customer orders around the globe immediately. This is complicated by the fact that Ribbon Communications offers multiple base platforms of its solution with more than 20 different configurations. Keeping all the necessary inventory to fulfill customer demand on-hand would pose a financial and logistical burden for any company.

Person managing logistics on a table with graphics of a chart overlaying it

Ribbon Communications has fully virtualized its product portfolio, enabling the company to benefit from the economics of a software-based business model-higher profit margins and less inventory risks - and lessen the impact of a capital intensive, small margin model required in hardware. However, hardware is still an important aspect of the Ribbon Communications solution. Many customers still expect fully engineered systems with support, locked-down bill of materials (BOMs) and firmware management included.

Ribbon Communications saw an opportunity to change the way it managed its supply chain operations in a way that benefited its customers and themselves. But it needed the right partner. One that could help it coordinate and integrate the hardware and related service and support requirements of its solutions and take on the economic and supply chain implications that went with them. One that could also assure its customers were getting the same, highly engineered and high performance solution Ribbon Communications expected.

The Avnet solution

Ribbon Communications was already working successfully with Avnet Integrated Solutions on inventory management, systems integration and just-in-time delivery for its large service provider and enterprise customers. Avnet had helped Ribbon Communications streamline its supply chain process, reduce its inventory risk and increase sales revenue. The Avnet Integrated Solutions team was able to build on this relationship and leverage their knowledge of the Ribbon Communications business to help tackle this new opportunity.

Leveraging its relationships with technology partners HPE, Intel and its global integration facilities, Avnet Integrated Solutions is helping Ribbon Communications further streamline the economics of its supply chain as a virtual OEM supply partner. When customers order policy/routing servers and media and signaling gateways from Ribbon Communications, they can now select certified servers and storage for their solution directly from Avnet via an online storefront portal and have them shipped directly to their location configured with the Ribbon Communications solution to their exact requirements. Avnet also bundles built-in frontline support for the servers and storage hardware from the manufacturer. At the same time, Ribbon Communications still provides the customer with a single point of contact. Ribbon Communications no longer has to take ownership of any server or storage hardware components or any of the service and support requirements that come with them. Instead, Avnet Integrated Solutions owns the inventory and the financial risk that comes with it and handles all billing related to those aspects of the solution.

The results

As a result of its ongoing relationship with Avnet Integrated Solutions, Ribbon Communications has reduced the inventory requirements, costs and financial risk in its supply chain while enhancing its ability to respond to new business opportunities and shifts in market demand. It has also simplifying the purchase interaction for the customer while providing increased opportunities and flexibility for solution customization. All of this has been achieved without any decline in solution performance or support levels.

With the relationship, Ribbon Communications has taken full advantage of Avnet’s supply chain capabilities, technical expertise, financial strength and back office systems while allowing Ribbon Communications to focus on its core competencies and solutions innovation. It also increases Ribbon Communications’ profit margins and fundamentally improves the cost dynamics of their business.

“Avnet Integrated Solutions is taking operational cost out of our business without reducing service levels. Our customers are getting the same highly engineered solution and they are able to leverage their buying power to get the best possible price through Avnet. Everyone wins and we’re able to increase our focus on what we do best – advanced networking software solutions.”

- David Tipping, Vice President & General Manager Products, Ribbon Communications

The solution

Modified Off-the-Shelf - Technologies assembled, configured, tested and supported to meet application standards and specifications.

Appliance - Application requires an on-premise server platform, designed to deliver optimal application performance and a trusted user experience.


  • Virtual OEM Program
  • System design & engineering
  • Supply chain management
  • Software load & configuration
  • Supplier service programs
  • Warranty support programs


Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is an industry leading technology company that enables customers to go further, faster. With the industry’s most comprehensive portfolio, spanning the cloud to the data center to workplace applications, our technology and services help customers around the world make IT more efficient, more productive and more secure.


Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) expands the boundaries of technology to make the most amazing experiences possible. Information about Intel can be found at and

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