The Ingram Micro VTN community of solution providers is in the process of opening its first chapter outside of North America, a move members of the solution provider organization said would provide new opportunities to grab international IT business.
Ingram Micro VTN, a subset of the distributor's solution providers that partner with each other to develop customer opportunities, this week welcomed three U.K.-based solution providers to the VTN Invitational conference, held this week in Palm Desert, Calif.
Ingram Micro VTN membership for the 15 years the organization has been around has included only U.S.-based and Canada-based solution providers, said John Fago, senior director of channel marketing for Ingram Micro North America.
The organization for the first time invited three U.K.-based solution providers to attend this year's meeting, which Fago said is the final step in the recruitment process.
"Those three made the trip with the idea that they will be the first members of VTN's U.K. chapter," he said. "In the fourth quarter, we'll be looking to recruit some of their peers."
The new U.K.-based VTN chapter will make it easier for solution providers to find the right partners in Europe to help with international business while cutting back on the need to send their own personnel overseas, said Michael Tanenhaus, principal at Mavenspire, an Annapolis, Md.-based member of the Ingram Micro VTN community.
"I have an engineer landing in London right now," Tanenhaus said. "The U.K. is just another way to say 'Europe.' We will be able to have partners in Europe under NDA who we know can control the quality of their work for us. It's pretty exciting."
The new Ingram Micro VTN chapter in the U.K. is very interesting for U.S.-based solution providers, said Ken Klika, a partner and director of network solutions at BCG Systems, an Akron, Ohio-based company which has both solution provider and CPA offerings.
Klika said BCG Systems, on the CPA side, belongs to an industry group called Prime Global, which provides CPAs many of the same benefits IT solution providers get through VTN, and has used the organization to partner overseas.
"I've seen the power of international expansion," he said. "I'm really excited about what expansion of VTN will do for our business."
Expanding to the U.K., and eventually to other parts of the world, provides opportunities for solution provides to better work with customers with international operations, Fago said.
"Our members sometimes do business overseas," he said. "This is an opportunity for us to help them expand beyond the North American borders."
The VTN community already has a spot reserved on its council for someone from the U.K., and the U.K. branch expects to hold its first meeting in the first quarter of 2014, Fago said.
PUBLISHED OCT. 22, 2013