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Press release from Business Wire

Arrow ECS Creates ‘Virtual Bench,' a Social Networking Site for Resellers

<p class='bwalignl bwnowrap'> <i>Officially launches site at IBM Software Lotusphere 2011</i> </p>

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Arrow ECS Creates ‘Virtual Bench,' a Social Networking Site for Resellers12:30 EST Tuesday, February 08, 2011 ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (Business Wire) -- Assisting resellers with collaborating on sales opportunities and building relationships with other resellers, system integrators and other solution providers, Arrow Enterprise Computing Solutions, a business segment of Arrow Electronics Inc. [NYSE: ARW], launched a social networking site called Virtual Bench initially for its North American IBM channel community. The site is currently available to Arrow ECS' IBM Business Partners in North America and was officially unveiled at the IBM Software Lotusphere 2011 event last week. Over time, the network will be continually extended to include other Arrow ECS supplier lines. “As a global value-added distributor representing more than 75 leading lines that support all aspects of the data center, one of the benefits we will ultimately offer is the ability to connect a community of more than 13,000 resellers,” said Sean Kerins, president, North America, Arrow ECS. “Virtual Bench will empower resellers to enhance their networking opportunities through Arrow ECS by connecting with others without leaving their desk.” Through Virtual Bench, IBM Business Partners can post profiles of their business and collaborate on new sales opportunities and projects with other resellers, solution providers and system integrators with complementary expertise. Likewise, these firms can search for requests for assistance from other firms based on specific technical skills, supplier classifications, certifications and product and brand expertise. “With Virtual Bench, our resellers can expand their sales opportunities,” said Mark Taylor, vice president of the North American IBM group for Arrow ECS. “For example, an IBM infrastructure reseller needing a business analytics solution for a customer can connect with an IBM software reseller with Cognos skills and sales authorizations. In addition, resellers can find skilled resources offered by the Arrow Fusion professional services unit through Virtual Bench.” To further promote collaboration among resellers, the site features discussion forums enabling resellers to join targeted social communities, gain insights from other resellers and stay abreast of new developments in the channel. Virtual Bench is accessible through the Arrow ECS secure reseller portal and is built on IBM Lotus Connections, a social software solution that enables communities of users to build relationships, share information and collaborate on tasks online. “We are pleased that Arrow ECS will be leveraging IBM Lotus Connections for its newest reseller social networking opportunity,” said Sandy Carter, vice president of IBM software. “Lotus Connections is a comprehensive social computing platform that delivers capability through integrated parts like profiles, communities, blogs, Wikis and more.” The site also was built with assistance from NouvEON, a management consulting firm that assisted with the design and development of Virtual Bench. “Drawing from our expertise with collaboration and social software solutions, NouvEON assisted Arrow ECS with maximizing IBM Lotus Connections to implement Virtual Bench,” said Mark Milam, technology solutions practice leader for NouvEON. “We believe this site will greatly benefit Arrow ECS as well as its suppliers and resellers.” Participating resellers can subscribe to Virtual Bench RSS feeds that will keep them updated on new posts for their topics of interest and that will notify them when they receive messages or responses from other resellers. “We participated in a pilot of the system that demonstrated how Virtual Bench will allow us to connect with other firms to collaborate on opportunities and augment each others' skills,” said Evan H. Herbst, senior vice president of Gemini Systems, an Arrow ECS solution provider. “Virtual Bench will continue to be an integral part of our partnering strategy for servicing customers with market leading solutions built on IBM software.” ABOUT ARROW ENTERPRISE COMPUTING SOLUTIONS Arrow ECS, a business segment of Arrow Electronics Inc. [NYSE: ARW], provides enterprise and midrange computing products, services and solutions to value-added resellers, system integrators, and independent software vendors. Based in Englewood, Colo., and with offices in 28 countries, Arrow ECS connects its customers to the world's foremost technology suppliers. Arrow ECS reported $5.8 billion in global enterprise computing solution sales in 2010. Visit ecs.arrow.com for more information. Arrow ECSDawn Small, 303-824-4188Communications Managerdsmall@arrow.com