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Arrow Enterprise Computing Solutions, a division of value-added
distributor Arrow Electronics, has expanded its Atlanta-based solutions
lab to help resellers demo and sell its enterprise technology solutions.

A broader selection of technologies from vendors including EMC, CA
and HP and cloud computing solutions are on display for resellers to
demonstrate for customers in person — or virtually through a secure
Website — in order to close sales. More than 100 partners attended a
launch event in Atlanta on April 20.

"It’s a showcase lab featuring many of our top suppliers with a
variety of solutions in place," Sean Kerins, president of Arrow ECS in
North America, told Channel Insider. 

The goal, said Kerins, is to help resellers shorten enterprise sales cycles, which can run two to six months or longer.

Products featured include EMC VNX unified storage systems, the HP BladeSystem Matrix
private cloud solution, CA’s virtualization suite and the Riverbed Steelhead
Appliance. Products from other vendors such as Brocade, Cisco, IBM, NetApp and VMWare are also available.

"We’re seeing a lot of change in the industry overall. Historically, the
traditional entry point to the data center was a proprietary Unix
server. Now we’re seeing all kinds of things come about as a result of
data center convergence and unified computing," Kerins said.

"I think it’s important to recognize that more and more of our partners
are diversifying their line cards and the way that they go to market … Customers are always going to want
choice and we’ve seen more and more partners diversify."

Kerins said cloud computing solutions are taking a foothold in the
enterprise and the distributor is helping its partners develop their
cloud offerings, whether for private, public or hybrid cloud solutions.

"We will first and foremost help our partners from a services
perspective. We’ll augment their ability to help define strategies," he
said. "Partners are being asked all the time to help [customers]
determine their appropriate cloud strategies. We think the change
itself and the associated migration represent a lot of work in the next
few short years."

Arrow expects to see partners utilize its solutions center with as
many as 300 to 400 demos taking place in the fourth quarter, Kerins
said.

"And I think it will continue to grow from there. It’s an investment
for us and an investment for them. We’re not looking to compete with
our partners but we want to augment their ability to sell services, not
just the resale of hardware."