Arrow ECS will drop the Computerlinks brand name in Q2 as it ploughs on with the integration of the security VAD.
The pan-global distributor formed an integration steering team immediately after closing its €230m acquisition of Computerlinks on 27 October and is now a good way through the integration process.
Talking to CRN, Laurent Sadoun (pictured), EMEA president of Arrow ECS, revealed that Computerlinks would be rebranded under the Arrow ECS Networking and Security banner some time between April and June. But there are no plans to close any major UK offices, he said, while all of Computerlinks' top UK management - including Dave Ellis, John Dams and Mark Norman - have been handed high-level roles within the combined organisation.
"What Computerlinks give us firstly is that we are now the undisputed number-one worldwide distributor in the [security and networking] market," Sadoun said.
There are no plans to close either Computerlinks' Newmarket HQ or Arrow's existing security operation in Nottingham, Sadoun said. But Computerlinks' two-man training outpost in London has already been shut and its functions absorbed into Arrow's 50-strong office nearby in Royal Exchange.
"The first thing to ensure was that the front offices were working together well and we are pretty much there now," Sadoun said. "The teams are operating well together and the ERP system and branding will come in the second quarter."
Sadoun stressed that Computerlinks staff were an integral part of the integration steering teams and that the distributor's top UK management are all staying on at the company.
John Dams, who was sales director at Computerlinks, will now head up Arrow's combined security business in the UK, with Arrow's current UK security boss Nick Bannister moving up to a senior European security and networking role. Mark McHale will continue to helm Arrow ECS's UK infrastructure business.
Dave Ellis, who was director of new technologies at Computerlinks, retains a similar role at Arrow ECS - but covering the entire UK organisation - in the post of director of strategy and new products. He will report into UK boss Nick Thurlow. Meanwhile, Computerlinks UK founder Mark Norman will stay on board with Arrow as a non-executive director.
"We are very pleased that all the management of Computerlinks remain with us and are very enthusiastic about the project," Sadoun said.
Computerlinks adds almost $1bn to Arrow ECS' revenues, bolstering its strength in existing markets such as the UK and the US and handing it access to new countries and territories such as Italy, the Middle East, Singapore, Australia and India.
The duo shared several big vendors in the UK, most notably Check Point, Trend Micro, RSA and Blue Coat, but Sadoun said these overlaps were "complementary" and would make the integration process easier.
"I can't say it will never happen that vendors will express concern at us being too large or having too much marketshare," he said. "But [at the moment] we don't see any vendors that are concerned, either in the UK or in other countries. It depends on the growth capacity we can continue to offer them and we are offering a great opportunity for growth with all the changes in the market right now around cloud and MSP."
A small number of job cuts may come in Q2 when the back office systems are combined, Sadoun indicated, but he stressed the acquisition was all about growth.
"We have added 700 security specialists to our headcount, some of whom have been in the industry for ten or 20 years, as well as a wonderful management team that have been very successful and who have great relationship with the vendors," he said.
The integration process will seek also to draw on Computerlinks' skills, Sadoun added, with its ALVEA cloud offering likely to be developed alongside Arrow's ArrowSphere cloud proposition.
"We can say that Arrow ECS is the only VAD right now that is so strong in security and datacentre so there is a huge opportunity to grow for our vendors.," he said.
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