Arrow Electronics plans to expand its ArrowSphere cloud services portal to North America next year after having found success with it in Europe, said Andy Bryant, president of Arrow Enterprise computing Solutions.
"It's our portal to design, configure and provision cloud services to the market. MSPs are seeing the advantage of using ArrowSphere," Bryant said. "The message there is resellers see a great tool to help them adapt their business model to cloud services."
Arrow first announced the ArrowSphere program last July with more than 60 aggregated cloud services such as infrastructure-, platform-, storage- and software-as-a-service solutions.
"We launched in Europe because of the big SMB customer base there and there's more rapid acceptance of cloud in an aggregated model. But it will continue to grow in the U.S.," Bryant said.
This year, Arrow has attracted the interest of managed service providers looking to build their own data center deployment to deploy cloud solutions, Bryant said. ArrowSphere will help those companies fill their portfolio, he added.
"This will be an interesting thing to watch from those of us that have been at this a couple of decades, we watched the whole ASP and XPS market in early 2000s. The MSP market is focused on cloud deployment and resale. They're buying infrastructure, which allows them to deliver infrastructure as a service, platform as a service to the market. Our strategy is to sell to them, through them," Bryant said.
Arrow expects VARs and MSPs, as well as end users for that matter, to utilize a hybrid of traditional infrastructure and cloud-based IT, and the Englewood, Colo.-based distributor is gearing up its business to serve that need.
"Cloud is here to stay, but I don't think it's going to be a 'student body right' move [to cloud]," Bryant said. "Selling cloud services is going to be a strategic opportunity for our VAR base to add value to their end-user customers. Many customers already are making the move rapidly. ArrowSphere will bring them a tool to accelerate their ability to take advantage of opportunities in the market."
Meanwhile, Arrow experienced a "challenging environment" in 2012, and that is likely to continue into next year, but Bryant expects some areas -- like servers -- that were soft this year to open up a bit.
"The server market has been soft for most of the year, so we shifted our focus to diversify our portfolio into working on services and software with partners, specifically security and virtualization. Those things remain strong and storage remains strong," Bryant said. "Looking into 2013, we are due for a server refresh and a desktop refresh, even though we don't participate in that market."
PUBLISHED DEC. 19, 2012