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Arrow’s recent appointment of Sean Kerins as vice president of its North American Storage Group marks an increased focus on fast-growing storage sales at the distribution giant.

The Englewood, Colo., company’s Enterprise Computing Solutions Group recently named Kerins to the newly created position, where he will own worldwide storage for both independent and embedded storage solutions, Kevin Gilroy, president of Arrow Enterprise Computing Solutions Group, told Channel Insider.

“From a macro level at Arrow, storage is becoming more and more strategic,” Gilroy said. While analyst firms such as Gartner are quoting growth rates of 9 percent, Gilroy said Arrow is seeing 13 percent to 14 percent growth, particularly in vertical industry sectors such as health care and financial services.

Kerins will bring years of storage experience to his new role at the distributor, including a long stint at EMC.

“Arrow doesn’t think of storage in a traditional sense,” Kerins told Channel Insider. “This is a company that is getting progressive around storage.”

For more on Arrow’s increased focus on the midmarket enterprise, click here.

Opportunities for sales in storage are strong across the board, from enterprises to SMBs (small and midsize businesses), he said.

Businesses have evolved in the way they approach storage purchases, Kerins said, moving from a product-led approach to one driven by business requirements. That has contributed to a more “consultative sales model,” he said.

“And we are seeing that move down into small-business environments as well,” he said. To serve those markets, Arrow has worked to create repeatable offerings for VARs such as white papers and self-service portals.

“You cannot afford to do one-offs,” said Gilroy.

“Repeatability is very important in smaller segments,” Kerins agreed. “Vendors have realized it’s a cost of sales challenge. That’s why I decided it’s a good time to move into the channel. Companies will rely more and more on the channel for these cost-of-sales reductions.”