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Once Simply a Distributor, Arrow Electronics Expands into Internet of Things Services

Arrow Electronics is taking steps toward its goal of turning into a clearinghouse for the hammer and nails of electrical engineering. The Englewood, Colorado-based electronics distributor recently said that it would acquire eInfochips, which helps customers develop hardware, software, and services to support Internet of Things businesses.

The deal dovetails with Arrow’s efforts to engage electrical engineers at every stage of product development, from sourcing components to tying services to new products like connected sensors embedded in warehouse shelves. The company is lending a helping hand so that it can dive deeper into the wallets of its more than 125,000 customers worldwide.

“Upon close of this acquisition, eInfochips advances our IoT strategy, expands our offerings, and moves us into the rapidly growing IoT services market,” said Michael Long, Arrow’s chief executive, in a statement. Arrow declined to disclose what it paid for the company, which is based in San Jose, California, with locations in Europe and India.

As part of the deal, Arrow also acquired more than 1,500 employees, including engineers and solutions architects with expertise in everything from embedded software to secure connectivity as well as configuring and managing cloud services used from retail to industrial applications. The transaction is expected to close next month.

In 2015, the company bought the assets of United Technical Publishing, a division of Hearst Business Media, so that it could start to provide insights to electrical engineers. It purchased EETimes and other trade publications from UBM’s technology division in 2016, flying in the face of worries about the impartiality of the reporting.

This strategy has been mirrored by Arrow’s rivals. Avnet has been juggling its executive ranks since it acquired Premier Farnell, the maker of the Raspberry Pi computer, a teaching tool for programming. It also bought, an online community of almost 200,000 that provides engineering tips, with a particular focus on the Internet of Things.

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