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Gates/Arrow Goes to Washington<@VM>Merisel and Comdisco Tango<@VM>Compaq, Tech Data Form Team<@VM>Bell Peddles Cirrus Wares<@VM>Inacom Configures Lucent Servers

By Richard McCaffery

Gates/Arrow Distributing, a division of Arrow Electronics Inc., restructured its government sales division to improve service and get its employees closer to integrators, resellers and manufacturers, according to Tim Collins, Gates/Arrow's vice president of strategic sales.

Gates/Arrow of Greenville, S.C., now has three executives working in the Washington area to act as liaisons between Gates and three of its major manufacturer partners. Before restructuring, Gates/Arrow had no employees based in Washington serving the government market.

The manufacturer partners are Compaq Computer Corp. of Houston, IBM Corp. of Armonk, N.Y., and Hewlett-Packard Co. of Palo Alto, Calif.

The Gates representatives will work with these manufacturers as well as their reseller and integrator partners.

Gates/Arrow, which distributes computer systems, components, software and services to federal, state and local governments as well as commercial companies, also doubled the size of its Greenville government sales force.

It now has eight sales representatives dedicated to the government market.

"I think we're going to be more efficient serving integrators, resellers and manufacturers," said Collins, who joined Gates in September 1998.

Collins was formerly vice president of marketing at Government Technology Services Inc., a Chantilly, Va., reseller.

Merisel Inc. of El Segundo, Calif., and Comdisco Inc. of Rosemont, Ill., formed an alliance to offer resellers in the public sector special financing and information technology services.

Under the program, resellers and systems integrators selling products and services to federal, state and local governments as well as schools and universities are eligible can receive financial services and IT services.

Merisel, a computer products distributor, had 1998 sales of $4.6 billion.

Comdisco, an IT services and product leasing company, had 1998 sales of $3.2 billion.

Compaq Computer Corp. of Houston has teamed with Tech Data Corp. and Ingram Micro Inc., the world's largest computer distributors, to speed delivery of its Prosignia line of desktops, portable computers and servers to resellers.

Under the partnership, Ingram Micro of Santa Ana, Calif., and Tech Data of Clearwater, Fla., will provide assembly and logistics services for Prosignia products.

The alliance amounts to an outsourcing agreement for Tech Data and Ingram that allows small and midsize businesses to buy customized Prosignia products through the distributors for the first time.

The Prosignia line is built specifically for small and midsize businesses.

The Compaq program is called PartnerDirect, and is part of the company's effort to build greater efficiencies into its sales and delivery process.
Bell Microproducts Inc. of San Jose, Calif., reached a distribution agreement with Cirrus Logic Inc. of Fremont, Calif., to distribute Cirrus' semiconductor products.

Under the agreement, Bell will distribute Cirrus products and provide a wide range of technical support for its products.

Services Bell provides on the products it distributes include testing, assembly and integration.

Bell Microproducts distributes products from more than 100 manufacturers of semiconductors, disk drives, tape drives, optical drives, computers and peripherals. The company had 1998 sales of $661 million.

Cirrus Logic, which makes specialized semiconductor chips, had 1998 sales of $954 million.

Lucent Technologies Corp. of Murray Hill, N.J., has given Inacom Corp. of Omaha, Neb., authorization to assemble, configure and test its line of Definity servers.

Under the agreement, Lucent will supply Inacom with the servers, and Inacom will perform final assembly and configuration according to customer requirements at its customization and manufacturing plant in Omaha. Configuration and shipping services are already under way.

Lucent gave the authorization to Inacom's communications and convergence division, which helps clients acquire and integrate voice, data, image and video information into their IT infrastructure.

Inacom, a computer integration and distribution company, had sales of $4.3 billion in 1998 and has more than 12,000 employees.

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