Arrow Launches Cloud Services Initiative For VARs


Arrow Enterprise Computing Solutions has launched a portfolio of cloud computing services under its recently-announced professional services business unit.

The services unit, newly-branded as Arrow Fusion, was launched in March and now includes cloud offerings including data center monitoring and management, security- and software-as-a-service, infrastructure-as-a-service and business continuity and disaster recovery, according to Joe Burke, vice president of worldwide services for Arrow ECS.

Arrow is partnering with cloud vendors, including Verio, NetEnrich and McAfee/MX Logic, for the offerings. A variety of service-level monitoring and management packages are available, depending on customer needs, according to Arrow. SaaS solutions include security for e-mail and Web defense and message archiving. In addition, Arrow plans to offer subscription-based access to Microsoft-hosted Exchange and SharePoint, CRM and business productivity tools.

Infrastructure-as-a-service solutions include virtual, managed and fully-dedicated private servers that allow more computing power and access to servers, as well as storage and bandwidth control, depending on the needs of the organization, according to the company. Business continuity and disaster recovery services include offsite data backup and recovery protection.

Arrow expects to play a key role in solution providers’ cloud offerings, Burke said, and he doesn’t see much difference between those offerings and “big iron” hardware that the distributor also sells to VARs.

“Just because not selling a piece of hardware doesn’t mean we’re not in the same position to do what we do for the big iron guys. They can also go direct with vendors. In terms of reaching a broad base of customers, we field a large sales force and have resources around billing, provisioning. We’ll make it easier for cloud companies to reach that audience and supply their services,” Burke said.

The services are the first formalized offerings for Arrow’s services business unit that was announced last March. At the time, Burke noted that Arrow had offered services informally for years, but that a seprate business unit would allow Arrow ECS to expand and improve the offerings.

Verio selected Arrow because it’s targeting the midsize and enterprise-focused VARs that Arrow serves, said Steve Renda, senior vice president of global sales and marketing at Verio.

The Centennial, Colo.-based vendor wants more partners for its virtual private servers/managed private servers business, not its traditional Web hosting business, Renda said.

“This gets us into a segment we’re not reaching very well today. Do we go after those partners ourselves and establish the Verio brand ourselves or find a partner? The answer was, 'Let’s find a partner,'” Renda said. “We can not only get access to this target market via a trusted brand like Arrow, but the services we provide can [help VARs and Arrow] provide additional services, say messaging. When we talk hosted servers, it’s a rich environment where a VAR or Arrow can add professional services to integrate and design solutions. We think it’s a new set of revenue streams for VARs and for Arrow.”

 

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