Building on its mid-market strategy announced at the Sun Microsystems Inc. iForce conference earlier this year, the Moca Division of Arrow Electronics Inc. has launched a new program to help Sun resellers sell solutions into the Canadian small and medium business market.

With SMB comprising

the largest market segment in Canada, Gary Nakashima, sales director for Canada at Arrow’s Canadian operations in Concord, Ont. recognized the benefits of entering this sector for the distributor and its resellers about a year and a half ago.

“”If you carve out where Sun plays in Tier One, it’s a very limited number of partners. There are a lot of partners vying for that business whether it be Sun, Hewlett-Packard or IBM resellers,”” said Nakashima. “”Canada truly is a mid-market SMB-type of environment.

“”In the mid-market SMB a lot of end users want to buy home-grown.””

The program encourages existing iForce partners, which traditionally have sold to large enterprise, to form alliances with software partners to deploy and deliver new solutions to smal and mid-size business. Resellers lacking thel infrastructure can leverage their relationships with ISVs and application providers to build new solutions, said Nakashima.

Arrow pre-screens all potential independent software vendors and application providers to ensure that they earn its “”rubber stamp”” seal of approval. Partners, for example, must have the infrastructure to support the software and a five- to 10-year plan on where their product is headed. Software applications range from vertical markets such as public schools to horizontal markets such as security.

Nakashima also noted the importance of its relationship with Sun here. “”We’re working really well with Sun Microsystems (Canada),”” he said. “”They have some infrastructure in Canada to go after the mid-market.””

Brad Keates, channel manager at Sun Microsystems Canada, said the program, which Arrow came up with over a year ago, is a testament to Arrow as a true value-added distributor.

“”(Arrow) really showed some fabulous initiative for the Canadian channels. It’s one of the things that differentiates a value distributor from a strictly product distributor. Sun’s pretty happy with it. Sun partners that are Moca partners are pretty happy with it.””

Keates added the program has been successful in the pilots the distributor has done with individual partners.

The program also presents resellers with an opportunity to share in recurring revenue streams from maintenance contracts and sell software upgrades, said Nakashima. Resellers who participate in the application providers’ training may also be able to generate dollars from technical services, he added.

“”It’s new uncharted water for them.””

The Melville, N.Y.-based distributor’s Moca Division is providing partners with training, end-user demand-creation campaigns and collateral. Moca, for example, is currently running a telemarketing campaign aimed at its end user database. The division then puts the information up on its partner Web site, called Vortex, for lead tracking said Nakashima.

“”Partners can go in, see the leads and actively pursue them,”” he said.

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