Arrow: We Help Bring Simplicity To IoT Partner Projects


As Internet of Things projects become more prevalent, solution providers are faced with more complex delivery models than ever before, but they don't have to take the journey alone. Arrow Electronics, the Centennial, Colo.-based distributor, said it's in a unique position to bring simplicity to solution providers looking to deploy IoT solutions.

At The Channel Company's IoTConnex virtual conference Wednesday, Nik Sanchez, a business development manager at Arrow, said the needs of solution providers are diverse and explained how the distributor can help them with their projects.

[Related: CRN's 2018 IoT Innovators Awards]

"We see new partners that are looking to grow quickly and may need assistance in ramping around IoT and oftentimes need that assistance in areas of delivery and or capabilities outside of their core competency," he said. "We also see existing partners with established and well-developed business models that are looking to leverage their core competencies and use them to grow and scale their businesses using IoT as a new vehicle."

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Sanchez said Arrow works with all of these types of partners through a strategy that the distributor refers to as aggregation, which comes in three varieties: the aggregation of the solutions, the aggregation of vendors to help bring a solution together, and the aggregation of the delivery and services required for those solutions.

One of the ways Arrow aggregates solutions is partnerships with vendors and even other partners who have created and validated their own solutions with proven customer outcomes, according to Sanchez. With each market-ready solution comes a playbook that provides resources on how to deliver and position the solution for the marketplace, which can be used by a solution provider's teams in sales, engineering and customer relations.

"We provide support around the development of the solution and around how to take those solutions to market," Sanchez said.

Roland Ducote, a global technical marketing manager at Arrow, said the distributor offers a wide variety of products and services for IoT projects, including sensory edge, edge compute, connectivity, cloud, AI and security products, as well as capital solutions and managed services. The company also has its own IoT practice and engineering services.

"The IoT practice has a fairly significant and differentiated engineering service organization that can help bring those things together both from a hardware and a software side to deliver those solutions through partners," Ducote said.

As one example of how Arrow helped a partner deliver a project, Ducote said the distributor worked with a solution provider to sell a sensory edge solution to an airport for detecting when doors are closed and how much liquid is in a pipe. The distributor drew up the expertise of its global components division to source the components needed, which allowed the systems integrator to focus on implementing the complete solution.

Tom Villani, senior vice president of business development at Computer Aid Inc., an Allentown, Pa.-based solution provider, said his company sees this "as a major direction of the marketplace."

"The customer wants to buy a solution as compared to a component. They even want to buy the operation of the solution as an outsourced service. Therefore, components that are bundled into solutions and then sold and serviced in that fashion are critical," he said.