Arrow Signs Agreement to Manage SAS Resellers
Business analytics software and services provider SAS Institute signed up Arrow Electronics to manage its resellers. Under the agreement, Arrow Enterprise Computing Solutions' network of authorized resellers in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa will sell SAS' offerings.
Arrow is the first distributor to manage SAS' resellers. Previously, the software provider directly managed SAS resellers under a program it had rolled out in 2007. Although SAS has approximately 800 Alliance Partners, only nine of them were allowed to resell its products. Arrow will now manage the nine resellers, and SAS Alliance members will have the opportunity to become resellers.
"Because of Arrow's specific focus on software, analytics and big data, as well as the types of partners and the infrastructure they are putting in place to recruit and manage the resellers, it gives us more scale than we could ever do by ourselves," said Russ Davis, SAS senior alliance manager.
Arrow understands the solutions provider community and can help position resellers for growth through enablement, market development, financing and global reach, according to Davis.
Under the distributor-managed program, resellers will be able to sell globally. Because of the way SAS handles country locations as subsidiaries, SAS resellers were only allowed to sell in the country where they signed the reseller agreement. For example, if the UK SAS subsidiary signed a reseller—even if the reseller had global reach—it could only sell in the United Kingdom.
Secondly, Arrow handles all requests for quotes and offers financing. The resellers do not need to figure out all the complexities of putting quotes together for SAS software, said Davis.
Arrow also provides tools to teach resellers how to sell and how to go to market and manages market development funds to help resellers grow market share. "Without these pieces, a reseller program is going to stumble," Davis said.
The last piece of the puzzle is hardware. Several of the SAS products, including SAS Visual Analytics, require new hardware when purchased, which SAS does not sell. Arrow is now developing a hardware appliance that can be sold with the SAS software as a single part number and solution.
With one purchase and one invoice, customers will get the hardware with SAS software "loaded, configured and ready to go," said Davis.
This is another huge advantage for resellers, he added. "If the resellers can make money from services, margin from our software, and margin from hardware on one deal and one opportunity, they are making three times more than they used to as alliance partners selling just services."
It also gives customers more choices in how they purchase SAS products. They can continue buying direct, team with an alliance partner or go to a reseller independently. SAS does not have any short-term plans to add another distributor to the program at this time, Davis said.
Gina Roos, a Channel Insider contributor, specializes in technology and the channel.