Arrow Enhances Cloud Services Platform With New MSP Tool


Arrow Electronics is extending its cloud services platform with a new offering for managed service providers.

The Englewood, Colo.-based value-added distributor recently introduced ArrowSphere xSP Central, a cloud service tool to aid MSPs in monitoring all cloud service provider software licenses on one central platform.

ArrowSphere, the distributor's cloud services aggregation and brokerage platform, was extended to North America VAR customers in June after initially being introduced overseas. XSP Central includes a key feature that can forecast the total cost of operation of cloud services for MSP customers.

[Related: Arrow's Cloud Portal Coming To U.S. In 2013]

"The ArrowSphere tool itself is the foundation for cloud strategy where it enables MSPs to increase their focus and improve margins and the efficiency of business," said Jim Livingston, vice president and general manager of Arrow's Enterprise Computing Solutions (ECS) services. "It's an aggregation platform that allows us to effectively extend a tool to our VAR community that they can white label and build cloud services more efficiently."

According to Livingston, the tool is designed to provide automation and reporting at a lower cost for channel partners. "From a VAR standpoint, if Arrow can lower the cost of how a service provider manages their inventory and the product they need to buy, we can ultimately drive efficiencies within the solution," said Livingston.

The ArrowSphere xSP Central tool helps to automate the entitlement and license management between the software publisher and the service provider before the service is generated and consumed by the end-user client, said Livingston. The platform includes metering and reporting capabilities and offers MSPs an online console to create pricing models, review vendor program options and automate monthly reports for software reporting.

Arrow is hoping to get more VAR customers on board in using ArrowSphere xSP Central. David Browning, CEO of Irvine, Calif.-based ThinkASG, is currently leveraging the ArrowSphere cloud syndication offering and is looking forward to using the new MSP platform.

"Having the distributor aggregate the cloud vendor relationships in a portal that we can then syndicate has been valuable in accelerating our entry into this product segment," Browning said. "As clients look at further leveraging partners for ongoing support, foundation tool sets like this will become important to our practice."

Livingston said Arrow intends to focus on recruiting, developing and enabling more solution provider customers with cloud and services.

"I'd certainly like for Arrow to leverage our focus on both our ArrowSphere platform and our services surrounding that," said Livingston. "We want to develop a world-class channel within the cloud business."

PUBLISHED AUG. 8, 2013