Stimulus For VARs: A Look At Distributors' ARRA Programs

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) means a number of public-sector opportunities for solution providers, from the $19.2 billion in incentives related to the implementation of electronic medical records, to so-called shovel-ready transportation projects, energy-efficiency concerns, broadband initiatives and modernization headed for education institutions and government agencies alike. continues to get underneath what ARRA means for solution providers, and if many vendors have been slow to create stimulus-specific programs for their VAR communities, the response by distribution has been the exact opposite -- with most major IT distributors having already launched some pretty involving stimulus outreach programs. Here's a look at what's out there: ARRA from the disties, as it were, with programs, financing options and who to talk to on the executive team about stimulus concerns.

Headquarters: Englewood, Colo.
Top Executive in Charge of Stimulus Outreach for VARs: Multiple within product lines
On the Web:

Stimulus Programs: Arrow ECS has partnered with Input to offer Webcasts and podcasts and has also deployed business intelligence services to identify the buying patterns of agencies projected to receive ARRA funding. Arrow is also offering VARs help with integrated marketing campaigns targeting federal and state users of specific technologies, and ARRA-specific finances programs, including deferral programs, step-structure programs and zero-percent financing for stimulus deals.

Headquarters: Tempe, Ariz.
Top Executive in Charge of Stimulus Outreach for VARs: Mike Atlee, national director, Avnet Technology Solutions, Americas, GovPath
On the Web:

Stimulus Programs: Avnet's GovPath government practice added a Government Contract Watch Program in conjunction with research houses like FedSources and the Center for Digital Government. Avnet also has an economic stimulus audio cast downloadable here, and rolled out a series of stimulus-specific Webinars with International Data Corp., archived at

Headquarters: Harrisburg, Pa.
Top Executive in Charge of Stimulus Outreach for VARs: Pat Donovan, Director of Inside Sales
On the Web:

Stimulus Programs: D&H in late June will add a stimulus-specific media presentation to its ongoing series of "D&H TV" Webisodes, available to VARs 24/7 on D&H's financing department has also started offering flexible financing programs, such as Assignment of Funds and Business Assurance, to help VARs with large ARRA contracts that might otherwise exceed existing credit lines.

Headquarters: Santa Clara, Calif.
Top Executive in Charge of Stimulus Outreach for VARs: Bob Laclede, Vice President of Business Development
On the Web:

Stimulus Programs: Ingram Micro's IMStimulus program, debuting in July, has two major components: a lead generation program in which Ingram uses business intelligence tools to match up its VAR community with stimulus opportunities, and, a service designed to help solution providers with every stage of the grant-writing process, and for which Ingram has partnered with public-sector grants database Grants Office.

Headquarters: Greenville, S.C.
Top Executive in Charge of Stimulus Outreach for VARs: John Gaillard, Vice President of Sales
On the Web: www.catalysttelecom

Stimulus Programs: ScanSource's Catalyst Telecom unit is offering Webinars and "playbooks" created with vendor partners for solution providers. ScanSource is also at work on a government solutions selling guide, release date to be determined.

Headquarters: Fremont, Calif.
Top Executive in Charge of Stimulus Outreach for VARs: Peter Larocque, President of U.S. Distribution
On the Web:

Stimulus Programs: Synnex's Economic Stimulus Program (Synnex ESP) finds the distributor partnering with Input to present Webinars on both ARRA as a whole and individual opportunities. The Webinars kick off July 1. Synnex has also recruited Tim Evatt, a Certified Grant Specialist, to its government executive team to assist VARs in understanding and preparing for opportunities where grant writing is a funnel for ARRA funding.

Headquarters: Clearwater, Fla.
Top Executive in Charge of Stimulus Outreach for VARs: Barb Miller, Vice President, Government, Technical and Integration Services
On the Web:

Stimulus Programs: Tech Data launched its Economic Stimulus Watch Web resource center to include ARRA news and developments, links to federal and state procurement Web sites, white papers for in-demand solutions, Webinars and podcasts, and advice on grant writing, building bids and responding to RFPs. Tech Data is also kicking off a series of ARRA summits at partner events like TechEDG and TechSelect, and will be providing live and virtual online events throughout the year.

Headquarters: Tarrytown, N.Y.
Top Executive in Charge of Stimulus Outreach for VARs: Ronald Sheps, Vertical Markets Manager
On the Web:

Stimulus Programs: This past spring, Westcon Group launched its "New Start America" program, which included Webinars and other training specific to vertical markets like health care, state and local government, and education, and also online portals dealing with many of those same verticals. Westcon is continuing to expand its Web portals to be not only repositories of information -- white papers and Webinar archives -- but also create searchable lists of stimulus opportunities for VARs by geography and training tools for VARs on grant writing and other ARRA-critical skills.

With the bulk of stimulus funds not expected to flow until 2010, 2009 is the year of preparation for solution providers hoping to reap some of the opportunities, be they in health care, broadband, security, energy efficiency or any of the other ARRA hot buttons.

Be sure to check out the cover story in June's CRN on stimulus funding for VARs, as well as our comprehensive guide to vendor stimulus programs, updated as additional technology vendors confirm their plans.

While you're at it, take a peek at scenes and coverage from this year's XChange Government Integrator conference in Washington, D.C., where stimulus was also a hot topic.