Arrow Bumps Bell Micro As Distributor of Sun's StorageTek Line

Arrow Enterprise Computing Solutions today officially announced that it is carrying the StorageTek line from Sun Microsystems. The move, which actually began Feb. 1, adds high-end and midrange tape-storage systems to Arrow's current offerings, an important line of business for the distributor.

Arrow MOCA, the division that handles Sun products, will replace Bell Microproducts and be one of three distributors carrying the StorageTek products; it is adding eight dedicated employees to do so. As part of its increasing focus on storage, Arrow has also appointed Bill Page as an executive vice president for the team supporting that line.

"What Sun is attempting to do with their acquisition of StorageTek is, I think, catapult it into the first tier of storage companies," says Rich Severa, president of Arrow MOCA. By having a full line of tape options, Sun now has an effective way of addressing offline and archive storage. The additional $2.2 billion in annual revenue, based on StorageTek's 2004 numbers, can't hurt either.

The StorageTek line is complementary to the other storage lines that Arrow carries; having archival capabilities helps Arrow better address the storage sector, an important one for the company and one that should be attractive to VARs.

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"I can go to one distributor and get it all," says Janet Waxman, IDC vice president of hardware channels and alliances. "It's rounding out the portfolio."

Before being acquired last year by Sun in a $4.1 billion cash deal, StorageTek had deals with three distributors: Bell Micro; Access Distribution, a division of GE; and Avnet Technology Solutions.

VARs who were authorized to handle the lines before will still be able to purchase them. But Sun hopes it can woo the ones that handled storage alone into picking up other Sun products.

"We have now invited the balance of them to sign a Sun reseller agreement if they would like through a Web-based click-through process," says Sun director of U.S. channel sales Jeff Barteld.

Severa also says he expects that VARs working with the entire Sun line will see opportunities for "the synergistic way of pricing, configuring, and promoting."