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Arrow Acquires United Technical Publishing, Boosting Content, Design Skills

Arrow Electronics has acquired United Technical Publishing (UTP), bolstering access to technology information and engineering tools for customers and partners.

Arrow Electronics has acquired United Technical Publishing (UTP), bolstering access to technology information and engineering tools for customers and partners.

The Centennial, Colo.-based distributor said UTP's capabilities will allow engineers and product designers affiliated with Arrow to learn about, and test out, new offerings before making a purchasing decision.

"People that make technology have a need to reach an audience with thought leadership," Matt Anderson, Arrow's chief digital officer, told CRN. "The industry has a need for more tools like this."

[RELATED: CenturyLink Inks Deal With Arrow In Bid To Add More Systems Integrators]

In particular, Anderson said suppliers and manufacturers are looking for more ways to speak with Internet audiences about opportunities for innovation and collaboration.

UTP operates in North America, Europe and Asia and offers everything from 16 engineering-driven websites -- such as ElectronicProducts.com and Schematics.com -- and magazines to events, and design and inventory tools. The Arrow acquisition closed late last week, according to the company.

UTP has offices in New York and Boise, Idaho, Anderson said, and was a division of Hearst Business Media. Arrow declined to disclose UTP's head count, though a company spokesman said its staff numbered well over 10.

In addition to editorial products, Anderson said UTP also brings industry-leading engineering tools to the table through its Aspen Laboratories division.

Arrow hopes to leverage Aspen Labs to help smaller companies break into the Internet of Things (IoT), as well as deepen understanding of emerging technologies in the energy, health-care, aerospace and automotive verticals.

UTP will be run at arm's length from the rest of Arrow, including the editorial and sales teams, which will maintain complete independence, he said.

By leveraging Arrow, Anderson said UTP will be able to expand its reach online, allowing more people to discover and test new products. On the editorial side, Anderson said Arrow's capabilities will allow UTP access to new tools and datasets, such as SiliconExpert, thereby facilitating a wider scope of coverage. Though there will be some crossover into the enterprise computing space, Anderson said UTP's content and audience is primarily engineering-oriented.

NEXT: A 'Good Thing' For Arrow And For Solution Providers


Arrow partner XIOSS is most interested in UTP's technical content around how different components and products work, according to executive vice president Mark Galyardt.

Galyardt hopes the UTP acquisition can give XIOSS's technical team a leg up in writing code, architecting solutions and obtaining reference material.

"This is a good thing for Arrow and for solution providers," Galyardt said.

From a competitive standpoint, Galyardt said bringing UTP under Arrow's umbrella should be a value-add, giving the Las Vegas-based distributor some unique content and abilities.

Mark Wyllie, CEO of Arrow partner Boca Raton, Fla.-based Flagship Solutions Group, said his interest in UTP offerings would be somewhat limited because his solution provider business already enjoys a very strong relationship with IBM.

Nonetheless, he said Arrow's move will probably be worthwhile for the reseller market as a whole, especially as partners look to get more into print services.

"On the surface, it make sense because Arrow has to diversify and provide more than hardware," Wyllie said.

PUBLISHED FEB. 20, 2015

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