Ingram Micro: More Services Won't Cannibalize Resellers' Businesses


Ingram Micro's recent acquisition of Rollouts means the distributor will begin offering a bolstered portfolio of services to its reseller partners, but the distributor said that it won't cannibalize the services businesses that many of its resellers rely on. 

Late Monday, Santa Ana, Calif.-based Ingram Micro said it acquired Rollouts, a Chaska, Minn.-based IT services company. In particular, Rollouts helps businesses and solution providers by supplying them with the people needed to handle big projects, service out-of-reach areas and implement cost-effective solutions. Rollouts has an e-Technicians network, which Ingram Micro will get access to, with more than 15,000 technicians, as well as a project management team and project tracking tool.

The acquisition is part of a long-term push by Ingram Micro into the value-added services side of the market, and with Rollouts as part of the portfolio, the distributor has "crossed the 't's and dotted the 'i's," Greg Richey, Ingram Micro director of professional services, said.

Related: Ingram Micro Leverages Partner Feedback In Rebranding Strategy

Richey said Ingram Micro is being careful not to step on the services toes of its reseller partners.

"It's completely counter to our longevity to disengage them," Richey said.

In fact, Richey said that he has been surprised at how willing the channel is to embrace Ingram Micro's assistance with deployments and other services. He said that partner feedback regarding the Rollouts acquisition in particular has been "pretty positive."

Richey said that while Ingram Micro sees many of its partners strong in their local or geographic areas, they might need a little help stretching beyond those borders for some of their clients. He said he sees other partners who might use the Rollouts resources to break into new vertical markets or to test out a new technology without needing to necessarily get the certifications themselves. For example, Richey said that resellers focusing in digital signage have come to him excited about the news because they could use it to provide end-to-end solutions.

"I think it's completely differentiating," Richey said.

The Rollouts addition will be very "synergistic with everything we've done," Richey said, particularly the IM Link. For simple projects, Richey said that resellers will be able to access the Rollouts network through a SKU. For larger and more complex projects, Richey said that Ingram Micro will work with companies individually to figure out how to proceed.

From a high level, the acquisition fits comfortably into Ingram Micro's services push, Richey said. Just a week before the acquisition, Ingram unveiled a rebranding to reflect its focus on what it calls the "Promise of Technology," and Richey said that this acquisition is just further proof that the distributor intends to continue pushing into the services side of the business.

"From a service perspective, this clearly shows that we're taking it very seriously," Richey said. "We see this ... as a huge plus."

PUBLISHED JULY 3, 2014