Arrow hits bull’s eye with MyArrow

There is no better time than now to improve operational efficiencies – and that includes not only customers, but also the channel itself.

Some (though not all) disties have been feeling the weight of these uncertain times. But this is also pushing them to look at their own businesses, to see how they can use technology to save money and improve operations. And really, who is better qualified to undertake these types of initiatives? Such improvements (as long as they don’t pass on costs to VARs) will continue to benefit the channel when business starts to pick up again.

One such use of technology is a new portal launched by Arrow ECS, called MyArrow, to distribute IBM and Sun solutions in North America (its HP, Storage and Alternative Technology groups are slated to transition to MyArrow later this year).

The portal, which is part of an initiative to increase coordination with resellers and suppliers, provides access to programs, tools and data online – whenever, wherever. It’s based on an Oracle platform being used across all groups within Arrow ECS, which will ultimately allow resellers to manage the entire sales lifecycle in one central location (and get information on new products, sales promotions and available resources).

Arrow has also revamped item and price searches, order tracking and account balance summaries, and added new features such as an invoice system with capabilities to search, download, export and print, personalized pricing correlated to authorizations and certifications, as well as service annuity tracking. And, perhaps of most interest to VARs, it’s rolling out a relationship management system within MyArrow over the next few weeks to collaborate on leads.

While this initiative is at least initially focused on North America, Arrow hasn’t been ignoring other parts of the world – in fact, it’s been downright busy over in Europe.

In December, it signed a distribution agreement with Symantec and added the Citrix line card for Belgium and Luxembourg. It also expanded its Wyse offerings in Europe by signing an agreement to distribute its thin-computing solutions in Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. It then signed a distribution agreement to provide Overland Storage solutions to resellers in Western Europe, including France, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

And, most recently, it expanded its distribution agreement with The Johanson Companies, adding the European and Asia-Pacific regions to its existing North American agreement (this includes Johanson Dielectrics, Johanson Technology and Advanced Monolythic Ceramics).

Arrow has it right – now is not the time to dwell on the economy and bring business to a standstill. It’s a time to reevaluate, to see what’s working and what’s not, and to make improvements that can save money, but also pave the way for a brighter – and more efficient – future.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Vawn Himmelsbach
Vawn Himmelsbach
Is a Toronto-based journalist and regular contributor to IT World Canada's publications.

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