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Arrow Points VARs To The Cloud With New Program

Arrow Electronics plans to roll out a new program to help bring solution providers into the cloud through education and demand generation.

Arrow Electronics is planning to roll out a new program to help bring solution providers into the cloud.

The ACE program is intended to increase knowledge and expertise around the cloud, particularly for telecom VARs, according to Dee Dee Lear, vice president of cloud and business development for the Centennial, Colo.-based distributor.

Lear told a breakout session at the 2015 XChange Solution Provider in Dallas that ACE follows a four-step process of enablement, education, execution and demand generation.

[RELATED: Arrow Electronics Strikes Deal To Acquire D.C.-Area VAD immixGroup]

The methodical enablement provides firms with business transformation workshops and profit-and-loss studies, Lear said, while the education component is oriented around sales and technical road maps for cloud proficiency.

Once solution providers have their cloud practice up and running, Lear said Arrow will generate business leads for partners.

The program is aimed at traditional VARs familiar with delivering on-premise infrastructures, Lear said, and informed by the belief that a lot more players are needed in the cloud to allow end users to consume technology in the way they want.

VARs in the telecom space familiar with selling network connectivity or voice can easily make the leap into selling cloud services, Lear said, because their business model is already set up to handle referral fees and an annuity stream rather than on a cyclical basis.

Next: Leveraging Hybrid IT Capabilities

Lear encouraged attendees to leverage Arrow's hybrid IT capabilities -- cloud-combined with on-premise deployment -- which relies on orchestration and automation software delivered by partners through managed services.

Lear said she sees the two worlds as becoming more converged with each passing day, and believes VARs can easily transition their conversations with end users about applications into ones about connectivity.

She touted Arrow's strong on-premise portfolio, thanks to its relationships with EMC, Hewlett-Packard, IDN, NetApp, Oracle and VMware.

On the cloud side, Arrow carries 45 vendors with 130 offerings, ranging from Software-as-a-Service to migration assistance tools, Lear said.

While some workloads, such as big data, analytics and CRM, have been proven to function well in the cloud, Lear said enterprises don't always want to move highly specialized or customized applications into the cloud.

Meanwhile, on-premise storage might be a cheaper option for nonmission-critical applications, or items done in batch that don't need to be immediately accessible.

Arrow is also well-suited to facilitating hybrid cloud deployments, Lear said, which uses public cloud for bursting, backup and disaster recovery, and private cloud for application development, workload management and provisioning.

"We see ourselves as sitting in the middle, and being the ultimate matchmaker," she said.

Next: What The ArrowSphere Portal Can Do For Your Business

Arrow will be able to service solution providers of all stripes, Lear said, whether they are looking to build, buy or partner their way into the cloud.

Much of that matchmaking is facilitated through Arrow's marketplace, which Lear said provides Arrow partners with direct access to a network of cloud providers.

The distributor also has ArrowSphere, a customizable, simple-to-use portal for managing cloud business.

The cloud brokerage and aggregation platform allows service providers to easily configure, quote, order, provision and bill cloud services from a single pane of glass, Lear said.

Arrow also can augment solution provider capabilities in the cloud by offering assistance with quoting and configuring, a 24/7 helpdesk, and remote monitoring and management, Lear said.

An easy area for solution providers to get into would be application and data migration, assisting end users with moving workloads to and around the cloud.

Modern Business Computing is considering using Arrow's marketplace to resell fleet software in the cloud, according to company President Kurt Claussner.

Specifically, Claussner said he was impressed by the platform Arrow offers to independent software vendors (ISVs) to quickly get their applications up in front of service providers.

Although the Elgin, Ill.-based company isn't currently an Arrow partner, Claussner said he is now considering becoming one for that reason.


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