Under-Stimulated? Westcon Helps VARs Target ARRA Funds

VARs looking to capitalize on the stimulus funds available from The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 can get help through distributor Westcon Group Inc., which rolled out Wednesday a “New Start America” program, including an informational Web site, designed to help resellers zero in on opportunities in the state and local, education and federal market segments covered in the federal stimulus package.

The initiative seeks to get past the 50,000-foot view of act and focus on the local opportunities for VARs, said Ronald Sheps, manager of vertical markets for Westcon Group North America. He explained that after Westcon held a few informational Webinars about the ARRA opportunity, the feedback from VARs was: what does it mean for me.

The company has assembled many of it resources on a Website,, including information about ARRA and links to further information. The site also provides VARs with technology purchasing trends in each target industry – state and local government, education and federal government. This is supplemented by vendor-specific solutions that match those trends and also solution-selling tools.

Cisco Systems Inc. is the initial sponsor for the initiative and is the sole vendor represented, but Westcon says the stable of provider solutions featured on the site will grow. Westcon Group distributes networking, security, mobility and convergence for technology vendors, including Cisco, Nortel, Avaya and Polycom.

Archives of the Webinar events and whitepapers also are available on the Web site, which is designed to be a one-stop shop on all things ARRA related, so VARs can get educated quickly.

Sheps said that further information, such as what has been funded to date in a VAR’s local area and how to follow up, also is available through consultation with Westcon representatives.

Every state has its own ARRA Website, which Sheps says Westcon is able to walk through with the VAR. In addition, it has databases of the public sector contacts that it can share with its sales partners.

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