Network Security Play: Arrow Completes Computerlinks Buy


Enterprise IT distributor Arrow Electronics this week completed its acquisition of Munich-based Computerlinks for $317 million.

The acquisition will allow Englewood, Colo.-based Arrow to expand its geographic footprint and strengthen its network security capabilities, according to Andy Bryant, president of Arrow Enterprise Computing Solutions. Computerlinks delivers IT security solutions and services in North America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

Arrow is focused on entering new segments of the IT supply chain and data center, especially around network security management and deployment, Bryant said.

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"Computerlinks built their business around network security and so did we," said Bryant. "The combination of Computerlinks and Arrow was a logical fit; our resellers will be able to take advantage of our expertise in growing segments of the market around network security, whether it is cloud or infrastructure.

"We are seeing damage done by a lack of security, and network security is the silver bullet," said Bryant. "It's a fast-growing segment, and it's going to be driven by cloud and implementation as well as companies that need the tight security for email and database."

Tens of billions of dollars are driven into the network security market to keep companies' data breach risks down, said Bryant.

Solution provider Sayers has been an Arrow partner for the past six years. Sayers, founded by former professional football star Gale Sayers, specializes in a number of technology areas, including security, in which it offers solutions from Palo Alto Networks, Check Point Software Technologies and HP TippingPoint, among many others.

Sayers receives much of its security offerings through Computerlinks, said Chris Callahan, president of Vernon, Ill.-based Sayers.

"I think [the acquisition] is good," he said, "and it will round out Arrow's networking security sector."

The addition of Computerlinks will broaden Arrow ECS' solution provider customer base and allow the distributor to expand into Australia, Germany, Singapore and other Asian countries and enhance its presence in the Middle East, said Bryant.

"We have some key suppliers that would like to see us expand geographically. They like our value-added distribution model and how we go to market," said Bryant. "We have some VARs standing internationally so it doesn't hurt to serve them in multiple geographies. And for long-term growth, it's important to look at these emerging markets.

"We look forward to the opportunity with the reseller base, taking this expertise of network security and helping our resellers move into a fast-growing segment they are not in today," said Bryant. "That is going to create a lot of offers for our VAR partners and expand what we do with our products in the data center for the future."

PUBLISHED NOV. 1, 2013