Arrow: Cloud Platform Presents Significant Partner OpportunityArrow: Cloud Platform Presents Significant Partner Opportunity
To say it has been a busy year for Arrow Electronics' strategic partnerships team would be an understatement. In 2013, the company's ArrowSphere cloud delivery platform was sporting only about 10 offerings, and many of its VAR customers simply weren't ready to make the transition to cloud.
October 3, 2014
To say it has been a busy year for Arrow Electronics‘ strategic partnerships team would be an understatement. In 2013, the company’s ArrowSphere cloud delivery platform was sporting only about 10 offerings, and many of its VAR customers simply weren’t ready to make the transition to cloud.
Fast forward to today. Arrow has more than 30 cloud services provider (CSP) offerings on tap, and according to Dee Dee Lear, vice president of Cloud for Arrow ECS North America, the number of available services should top 40 to 45 by year end.
Similar to other distributors, Arrow has found its way into the cloud market after many questioned how distributors would fit into this new era of the channel. Of course, some of those same people questioned the necessity of the channel at the time, but look how things have changed. Arrow has signed a handful of major partnership deals with CSPs in the last few months, including a critical deal that puts IBM SoftLayer (IBM) at the core of ArrowSphere, a deal with Oracle (ORCL) and, most recently, bringing Rackspace into the fold.
According to Lear, things have changed in the last two years since ArrowSphere launched. Arrow found significant uptake in the platform in Europe, mainly with managed service providers, but the North American audience took a little more time for convincing. Lear told Talkin’ Cloud that Arrow has spent 2014 building out its linecard of cloud offerings.
Although those offerings are still centered around compute and storage, Arrow has had success in adding infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offerings to its linecard, and is now concentrating on upping its software-as-a-service (SaaS) inventory. Arrow sees its opportunity as being the interconnection point between service providers, VARs and ISVs.
But the transformation within the traditional VAR community is still taking place. More of them are definitely thinking about the cloud, though.
“I’ve seen partners who are looking at their exit strategy,” Lear said. They are considering what the legacy of their businesses are, and it’s creating a sense of urgency that is only increasing among channel partners.
“The urgency has been cranked up because partners see their end users are putting stuff in the cloud,” said Dan Shea, vice president and general manager of Arrow’s IBM business unit. “If they don’t get there, this will be a dwindling business for them.”
Partners who have yet to make the switch to the cloud are beginning to understand the importance, as well as the benefits, of selling cloud services. For one, when they turn to cloud, they know the infrastructure will already be there, Shea said. According to Lear, that’s creating an opportunity to speak with partners about the cloud and ArrowSphere, creating a significant opportunity for both Arrow and the channel.
Additional reporting by Charlene O’Hanlon.
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