Partner Watch

Arrow ECS’ VP on new market routes

Jean-Loup Desamaison-Cognet, CEEMEA Vice President, Arrow ECS

Jean-Loup Desamaison-Cognet, CEEMEA Vice President, Arrow ECS, on exploring new routes to market and company focus for the year.

Many companies in the region are realigning their strategies to leverage the opportunities present in emerging disruptive technologies such as virtualisation. This means identifying and developing better go-to-market strategies in order to enable partners to be at the forefront of this discussion.

Arrow ECS has been a strong player in this regard with virtualisation solutions from VMware and Citrix globally and is also a distributor for VMware through EMC in the Middle East region.

Jean-Loup Desamaison-Cognet, CEEMEA Vice President, Arrow ECS, says, “Virtualisation has been a big disruption in the market. Vendors approach us asking how we can help secure virtualisation and how we can help them go to the channel players who are in the virtualisation space. This is why the data centre approach including security is very important for vendors today.

“A distributor like ourselves can not only help with this but also bring in other channel opportunities. It is a challenge for channel partners because for specialised security, they have to first understand the virtualisation technology and be present from the beginning of the process.”

Today enterprise projects don’t revolve around just one technology but has more aspects to it such as convergence and security. The challenge for partners is to be equipped to execute related technologies simultaneously.

Desamaison-Cognet says, “Resellers too must adapt to disruption. For example, today EMC is pushing for new technologies in flash as it is a new disruption in storage, however they are also pushing new disruptions in hyperconvergence, which is a new topic too. The challenge for value-added resellers is that there are multiple routes to market now.”

These disruptions in the market create the need to train resellers to not only solve customers’ problems but also proactively present new technologies by understanding their needs.

For Arrow, the strategy continues to revolve around data centres and onboarding new vendors. The distributor believes growing its portfolio and developing new routes to market are important to cash in on the market opportunities.

“New routes to market is about addressing Managed Service Providers (MSPs), Systems Integrators (SIs) and Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) – this is key for us.”

The VP explains that these three segments are significant for a number of reasons. MSPs provide services and purchase solutions from the distributor. SIs are now evolving from being an advisor to being interested in implementations. ISVs look at selling the solution that is close to their software and can help them be more tuned to new technologies.

Desamaison-Cognet says, “The interdependence of technologies offers us an opportunity to go to a reseller and say if you sell a particular technology, then you should also look at these related ones.”

The distributor will be focusing on these new routes to market extensively in the coming months.

“We are already working with MSPs everywhere, we are the largest Oracle distributors in the world.”

And along with new routes, the company is emphasising on vendor alignment and disruptive technologies such as social, mobility and analytics.

“Developing a strong relationship with vendors is key. Thank to our portfolio of enterprise vendors, we have a compelling offering in this space, however, all of them are asking us to go to the mid-market. Today the solutions they are providing are increasingly more adaptive for this segment.”

In terms of geographical expansion, KSA now constitutes 60 per cent of the total Middle East market for the distributor. “We were already doing business in KSA and now have the ability to do door-to-door deliveries in the country. It is about securing the vendors and the resellers to make sure it is aligned with the laws and compliance, which is key for this region,” he adds.

Identifying Middle East and Africa as high growth markets, we can expect to see many more initiatives from the VAD in the second half of the year.

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