Scenes From Arrow Electronics' Solutions Lab Open House

Arrow Electronics Solutions Lab Open House

Arrow Electronics held an open house for more than 100 solution providers at its Solutions Lab in Alpharetta, Ga. The event gave VARs a hands-on opportunity to see some of the latest data center products in action. Pictured here, some Hewlett-Packard racks, including Blade System Matrix products and some 3Par products picked up through HP's acquisition of that company last year.

"This [lab] is all about sales cycle progression, doing something for our customers to accelerate time to close and differentiate the way they compete," said Sean Kerins, president of Arrow Enterprise Computing Solutions’ North American operations. "Most of partners would be challenged to stand up the suite of technology we have [in the lab]. They can get a lot of scale benefits from us and are able to use this in person or online."

CommVault Conversation

Marc Kittrell, (white shirt), southeast account executive for Syncsort talks with Luis Hernandez, (right), CommVault systems engineer for Arrow ECS outside of the Arrow ECS solutions lab on April 20.

Close to 20 vendors are represented inside the solution lab, said Kerins. "It's based on what partners are asking us for, more of a focus on the solution aspect vs. demoing a specific piece of technology. The more we can illustrate combinations of technology, the more traction it seems to get," Kerins said.

EMC In The Solutions Lab

EMC's Symmetrix portfolio dominates this portion of the Solutions Lab, which includes more than $1 million worth of equipment available for solution providers at any time. Arrow formerly had two smaller labs in the Atlanta area but combined them in one place to truly showcase full solutions capabilities, Kerins said.

"This has been the coming out party for a journey that started 12 to 18 months ago. Most of our demos are all accessible online. Our VARs and their customers can get access to all of this for the most part 24x7. They're welcome to see it all in person, but we see the virtual traffic continuing to climb more than physical traffic."

Charting The Course

Edge Solutions' Barry Polis, (left), technical consultant, and Bobby Thomas, vice president of sales, discuss which presentations they plan to attend at Arrow's open house.

Behind The Scenes

Greg Kinsky, systems engineer for Arrow, explains the features of the Hitachi AMS 2100 to Jennifer Foney, a channels training program manager for IBM.

IBM Racks 'Em Up

IBM is well represented at the Solutions Lab, with racks here that include the IBM XIV storage system.

"IBM's XIV is a formidable storage platform. It's been with IBM for a good couple years and we saw good uptake with it in the latter half of 2010 in the channel," Kerins said.

Channel Chat

Mary Beth Edwards, (right), director of inside sales for the North American HP group within Arrow ECS, and Marion Hyder, deal support desk representative for Arrow ECS, (left), catch up with Steve Smith, strategic alliances manager for HP solutions for Sirius Computer Solutions, (center).

Ready To Go

From left, Michael Metreyeon, Georgia district channel manager for EMC, prepares for a tour of the Solutions Lab with Gary Austen, IBM brand sales manager for Arrow ECS; Kevin Schoonover, director of engineering for Arrow ECS; Ron Robinson, president and CEO for IT Data Storage; and Ken Snuggs, president of Abacus Solutions.

Class In Session

A room full of solution providers and suppliers attend a presentation on Arrow ECS' virtual solutions lab offerings in Alpharetta, Ga. "We had sessions devoted to the data center of the future. We got into concepts like data center convergence, unified computing," Kerins said. "We had a session about enterprise data security. An event like this would not be complete without a session about cloud, what the infrastructure will look like to enable companies to get to cloud. We had session on our Fusion value-added services."

Steelhead Solution

A Riverbed Steelhead solution in place at Arrow's solutions lab. "It's great solution for data replication and WAN optimization, two areas that are big opportunities for our VARs right now," Kerins said.