Arrow Electronics has launched a partner portal for its Enterprise Computing Solutions resellers.
The partner Web site will allow solution providers to post their skill sets and leverage other resellers for services in geographies or technologies where they have no expertise.
“We will have deep profiles on core competencies, skills and applications they might sell. We now have a way for resellers to go into private site to find the skill set they might be looking for. If someone might be looking for [IBM] WebSphere skills, any partners have that have WebSphere in their profile, they can call,” said Eric Williams, executive vice president of Arrow’s IBM Group.
Because the portal stretches across Arrow Enterprise Computing Solutions’ IBM, HP, MOCA (Sun Microsystems) and storage business units, solution providers also can find help with unfamiliar platforms in order to retain control of customers with multi-platform environments, he said.
“If partners go in together and spell out the ground rules up front, they can work together today. In addition, someone may handle enterprise customers in multiple locations. If you’re in the Northeast and the [end user] has a facility out West, you can find someone who has the same services. It’s a virtual network between partners that allows you to round out your holes,” Williams said.
Some of Arrow ECS’ 1,500 solution providers have been working together on an informal basis for years, but they said a formalized approach will streamline the process of finding a partner and closing a deal.
But as in any relationship, building trust is key to the program’s success, said Jay Hakami, president of Sky IT Group, a New York-based solution provider. “They can do a beautiful Web site, that’s a great thing to do, but we don’t know who we would do work with in Omaha, Neb. You need to trust that business partner so they don’t infringe on your client,” he said.
The partner portal is another example of Arrow and IBM trying to get different kinds of companies to work together, Hakami said.
“IBM has an initiative to bring ISVs and those that influence IBM products into the marketplace. It will work in more cases than ever before,” he said.
Arrow’s portal is independent of, but will complement MOCA’s Engineer Exchange, which allows solution providers to leverage the the technical benches of their colleagues for enterprise deployments.