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CRN Exclusive: Ixia Inks Distribution Relationship With Arrow To Reach Larger Partners

Through Arrow Electronics Ixia hopes to work with solution providers who have well-established relationships with networking and security technology vendors.

Ixia has added Arrow Electronics as a distributor to reach larger solution providers who have well-established relationships with networking and security vendors.

The Calabasas, Calif.-based network testing, visibility and security technology vendor said the new relationship with Centennial, Colo.-based Arrow will expand on Ixia's existing distribution relationship with Fremont, Calif.-based Synnex and result in the company reducing its use of direct sales to partners, according to Lori Cornmesser, Ixia's vice president of global channel sales.

"Arrow complements Ixia's partner solutions much differently than Synnex does," Cornmesser told CRN exclusively. "Our partners will have two options."

[RELATED: MobileIron Confirms Arrow Distribution Partnership Has Been Terminated Four Months After Its Launch]

Cornmesser said adding Arrow will create synergy in Ixia's go-to-market strategy by enabling partners to jointly sell Ixia products alongside products from Riverbed Technology, Splunk and Palo Alto Networks, all of which work closely with Arrow.

Cornmesser said Ixia has leveraged Synnex's great relationships with Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Fortinet and Check Point Software Technologies to generate cross-selling opportunities. She emphasized that the new relationship with Arrow is about growing the size of the solution provider pie, and not about shifting relationships from one distributor to another.

Arrow declined to comment due to being in a pre-earnings quiet period, while Synnex officials were unavailable for comment.

Cornmesser said Ixia still has a small number of partners procuring products directly from the vendor due to historical relationships or the size or complexity of their business. But as 2016 goes on, Cornmesser said Ixia is looking to reduce its direct relationships in the U.S. and fully leverage its distribution partners.

Revenue for Ixia partners is primarily project-based since it's tied to hardware sales, Cornmesser said, though resellers have the opportunity to sell into the same customer multiple times as their business scales.

Ixia will initially work with Arrow only in the United States, though Cornmesser said Ixia is looking to expand the relationship into other parts of North America. Ixia's relationship with Synnex covers the United States and Canada, Cornmesser said.

Ixia has worked with Arrow for the past month on getting the distributor's technical staff trained, Cornmesser said, which included training 25 engineers at the Arrow site. Partners can begin sourcing Ixia products through Arrow immediately, though Cornmesser expects it will take the distributor six to 12 months to get fully up to speed and cover territorial or skillset gaps among Ixia's current partner base.

Nonetheless, Cornmesser said Arrow's technical expertise has enabled the distributor to develop strong training tools and support for building pipeline and closing deals.

"We have the basics down, and we'll continue to build on that," Cornmesser said.

Ixia will be managed out of Arrow's security group, and Cornmesser said any of Arrow's networking, virtualization and security partners would be a good fit for the vendor. Ixia's existing partners range from major systems integrators to small solution providers, Cornmesser said, and service federal government, education and commercial markets.

Ixia's offering will come into play for clients spanning physical and virtual IT environments, according to Dave Casey, vice president of Tulsa, Okla.-based PeakUpTime, No. 470 on the CRN Solution Provider 500.

Casey told CRN that Peak UpTime has a strong virtualization practice and is currently transitioning many clients to hybrid or pure cloud platforms. In addition, Peak UpTime uses Palo Alto Networks as its lead security product and sees opportunities to integrate it with Ixia.

"Having the handle on visibility architecture that Ixia has would make a difference for us," Casey said. "It definitely would fit well."

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