Cloud, platforms and mid-market — Arrow ECS maps out new model

Cloud, platforms and mid-market — Arrow ECS maps out new model

Plans to transition from a traditional distributor to hybrid.

Eric Nowak (Arrow ECS).

Eric Nowak (Arrow ECS).

Credit: Supplied

Arrow ECS is in the midst of transitioning its traditional business model into a ‘hybrid’ one, with its ArrowSphere platform taking centre stage. 

This is something that Eric Nowak, Arrow ECS EMEA president, is focused on working towards and thinks the distributor will look very different from its current environment to what it will be in the next three years. 

However, Nowak realises the main regions that it plays into – Europe, North America and Australia and New Zealand – aren’t all at the same stage with different vendor contracts dictating the platform’s offerings per region. 

“In Europe, we really already have this new model with a very large portfolio of enterprise software vendors in the data centre, modular data centre, networking, security, virtualisation, cloud, analytics; basically everything in between hardware, software and services,” he said. 

“In Australia and New Zealand [A/NZ], we still are a very traditional distributor, mostly hardware – security with some big brands but we still are not where we want to be in terms of services of cloud with the platform and the breadth of the portfolio. We need to adapt a bit more rapidly.”

In regards to the European market, Nowak estimates 20 per cent of its revenue is already derived from the cloud. 

“We have a very well-known platform and offer services around our core portfolio of products,” he said. 

“We’re pretty far into this model and for our vendors, we can help to make their transition to the cloud and channel transitions to the cloud or services to do things differently.

“Our job is to attract more vendors on our platform in A/NZ so partners that work with us can have access to the same platform featuring a lot more cloud services from enterprise vendors. 

“We are not yet there at the moment. The portfolio that we have on the platform is not large enough and we’re working on it.”

Arrow’s A/NZ portfolio includes HPE, Palo Alto Networks, Pure Storage, NetApp and Microsoft. In May, Hitachi Vantara was added to the portfolio in an effort to align with the US and Europe. Regular transacting and occasional partners sit between 1,500 to 2,000. 

Nowak is laser-focused on the next few months in A/NZ to build on the infrastructure both in terms of the distributor's portfolio and brands on the platform and recruiting partners with a strategic aim for the mid-market.

“We’re making sure that we recruit, enable and manage the right channel partners for our vendors when it comes to their new technologies either in the cloud or the mid-market,” he said. 

“The big advantage of Arrow for these partners is they can use our platform to connect to a lot of vendors and have everything they need to manage a cloud environment from consumption to providing, managing, reporting and deploying services.”

Nowak aims to provide the same service-level agreements with an identical portfolio and offers that it has in other parts of the world.

“All the managed services and big suppliers that we have on the platform in Europe, we are working very hard to make sure that we also have it in A/NZ so partners can benefit from it,” he said. 

“The biggest potential is to help our partners make their journey to the cloud and be able to serve our partners and our suppliers, both in the traditional market that will continue to exist, the on-premises market and now the cloud.”

Arrow ECS A/NZ general manager Karl Sice was confident in aligning the local business to Nowak’s vision and matching up with the best that other geographies can offer. 

“It's about aligning that message with the market and being relevant and I think that every conversation in IT is so different from what it used to be. It's a conversation about improving processes, systems, and tools, and improving the business environment in which we operate,” Sice added. 

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