Ingram Micro partnered with KPMG on a new version of its electronic storefront geared toward government and education solution providers.
After starting to build the e-storefront itself, Ingram Micro brought KPMG on board because solution providers were clamoring for more functionality than the distributor could develop alone, said Bob Stegner, Ingram Micro's vice president of channel development. The distributor plans to roll out the revamped
e-storefront at its Partnership America conference next week in Anaheim, Calif.
Stegner says solution provider feedback shaped e-storefront features.
The e-storefronts enable solution providers to offer online ordering and special government and education pricing to end users via their Web sites as well as create customized catalogs and manage contracts, according to Ingram Micro.
The e-storefronts are connected to PartnershipAmerica.com, the distributor's government-focused Web site, and Ingram Micro's back-end infrastructure, which routes, manages, fills and ships the orders.
About 28 of the new e-storefronts already went live during a soft launch, said Stegner. However, the distributor said it will not deploy any more until receiving more feedback from the first users. The distributor expects the next round to go live at the end of the first quarter.
Solution provider Govplace has been using the e-storefront for nearly a year and has noticed "a big difference" in functionality and content since the original version, said Sean Burke, president of Govplace, Goleta, Calif.
Past challenges have been resolving speed issues, quickly updating information and defining customer categories, added Burke. "We have the infrastructure to do [an e-storefront in-house, but it's expensive," he said. "This site is really good. It allows us to do so many flexible things."