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Arrow ECS to beef up security and networking line

Microscope contributor
Arrow ECS is planning on beefing up its security portfolio and making overtures at networking and voice vendors after missing out on Cisco's UCS play.

It is three years since Arrow hoovered up distributors across Europe - including Access Distribution, InTechnology and Centia in the UK - to form DNS, a brand which was replaced with the worldwide Arrow ECS brand this year.

Steve Pearce, UK managing director, said the operation has grown during that time, built on what he termed as three near recession proof business units - data storage, virtualisation and security.

"The area we want to expand in is security, we have had a very good run in the last year and the business has significantly moved forward with James Patterson at the helm, but we need a couple more good brands," he said.

At present Arrow counts Checkpoint, Blue Coat and Symantec among its major security partners.

The specialist security channel is also set for a shake-up, he predicted.

"The security market in the UK is dominated by ComputerLinks but when you look below that there are five or six brands battling it out with different sets of vendors so it's a logical area for consolidation," said Pearce.

Ian Kilpatrick, chairman at Wick Hill agreed there had been continual flux in the distribution landscape in the last five years but the security sector evolved rapidly and emerging vendors were always looking at incubation partners.

"Security is an anomalous market because it is constantly changing. In a typical market, time forces consolidation but in one where new threats emerge every six months, knowledge is as important as the ability to deliver the lowest price," he said.

Another area of the portfolio Arrow is developing includes networking and voice; currently it sells networking enabled technologies from Brocade and Riverbed, and OEM versions of HP ProCurve but does not offer network fabrics.

"Unfortunately Arrow worldwide bid for Cisco [UCS], we didn't get it but probably need some network architecture [vendors]," said Pearce, adding it had the skills to sell networking but was not perceived as a major player.

At the start of this year, Cisco handed the Unified Computing Solutions contract to enterprise distributor Magirus, which caused some surprise at the time.


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