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To help its North American solution providers leverage x86 market opportunities, Arrow Electronics has expanded its support for the converged infrastructure market with dedicated resources and an alliance with Intel.

New resources for this market include pre-sales engineering services, demand generation, education and integration services through its Empower enablement program.

The Empower program is designed to help move partners into new practice areas, including big data and analytics, enterprise security, mobility, cloud services as well as converged infrastructure, said Pete Koliopoulos, vice president of North American marketing, Arrow Electronics, Englewood, Colo.

The framework offers a repeatable set of processes for additional education and enablement, integration services, and data analytics that can be used to size the market and find opportunities, and demand-creation support, all designed to help resellers create their own practice or move into or expand an existing practice, Koliopoulos said.

Other Arrow services include solution scoping and architecture, live or virtual proofs-of-concept, and post-sales implementation assistance.

As part of the investment, Arrow established a practice leader and team dedicated to the converged infrastructure practice that are focused on the capabilities that its resellers need to be more successful in this market. These include additional resources to drive technical and sales enablement, along with changes in demand creation and marketing enablement, said Mark Taylor, vice president, North American enterprise computing solutions, Arrow Electronics, Atlanta, Ga.

“The same team drives the integration side in terms of skills and capabilities we needed to add, and more importantly, brings together as offerings for our partners,” said Taylor.

Part of Arrow’s motivation behind the increased investment in converged infrastructure and its Phoenix integration center includes a rise in interest and requests for more complete system integration prior to shipment to the end customer.

Arrow also is launching a phased program called the x86 Influencer Program through its alliance with Intel to help solution providers grow their Intel-based solutions sales business across North America. The program will provide collaborative tools, collateral, and sales support to drive x86 architecture in the enterprise server market.

A key part of this program entails bringing together Intel’s sales force with Arrow’s partners in a collaborative environment to “help them meet and collaborate in front of their common end users whether they are prospects or existing customers,” said Taylor.

The second piece of the program is coordinating the demand-creation efforts of Arrow’s partners with Intel’s sales efforts in local geographies. “We’re pulling Intel in as another entity into the same environment so all three parties—the manufacturer, reseller and Intel—are collaborating on how to best present solutions, road maps, and help clients understand how to solve their problems,” said Taylor.

Ultimately, this means more local value-added resellers (VARs) engaged with local Intel sales representatives to jointly sell Intel-based architecture designs.

The first phase of the program will focus on coordination at the local level and more emphasis on demand creation, followed by increased Intel involvement with the technical enablement of Arrow’s partners, and the addition of more integration capabilities of which Intel will jointly be a part.

Gina Roos, a Channel Insider contributing writer, specializes in technology and the channel.