Ingram Micro has set out to simplify the equipment procurement and billing process for channel partners and customers with a Technology-as-a-Service program.
The Irvine, Calif.-based distributor will make it possible for solution providers to rent new or refurbished devices, bundled with cloud and managed services, to their end users with only a three-month commitment required, according to Kelly Carter, executive director of Ingram Micro Financial Services. Both hardware and services are bundled into a consolidated monthly invoice, Carter said.
"Partners need multi-vendor solutions they can bundle together," Carter told CRN. "This isn't common, and it's a real differentiator for us."
Carter said Ingram Micro's Hardware-as-a-Rental program would initially focus on refurbished laptops under warranty with associated cloud services, expanding into other product lines and new equipment as time progresses. The distributor was unable to immediately provide a list of vendors participating in its Hardware-as-a-Rental program.
Ingram Micro definitely wants to phase in infrastructure under its Hardware-as-a-Rental program, Carter said, though the distributor would have to combat steep price depreciation around new products.
For this reason, Carter said the distributor needs to examine how long hardware is typically held under the current financing and incentives structure to ensure Ingram Micro has a fiscally responsible way to offer new infrastructure hardware at an attractive price point.
"This is not easy, and that's why you don't see a lot of it out there today," Carter said.
Carter anticipates the ramp-up of Ingram Micro's Technology-as-a-Service program will be rather slow as solution providers determine how to best go to market with this. The distributor has added people to its financial services team to assist partners around the go to market strategy, Carter said.