Ingram Micro Breaks 3-D Printing Ground, Brings Opportunity To Channel


For Ingram Micro partner SHI, a Somerset, N.J.-based solution provider, it's eager to learn more, educate customers and provide services in addition to the physical printer, said David Johnson, printing and imaging manager at SHI.

"For SHI, we're not just supporting the devices, but we're also selling the 3-D modeling software, additional accessories and peripherals for not just printers -- but to use their equipment within the broader framework for their overall IT practice," said Johnson. "Particularly for an IT reseller like SHI, we can offer additional value beyond just selling the device itself."

Johnson said SHI, first and foremost, strives to be familiar with the technology. Although many of SHI's clients have heard of 3-D printing, they still need to be educated about it, he said.

"Our plan No. 1 starts with enlightening ourselves, making sure we have training and familiarity with customer use cases. We have the resources set up, and Ingram has done a great job keying of that for us and in making sure we have sales specialists that can speak about the products," said Johnson. "Beyond that, it's just a matter of speaking to the organizations that we're supporting and letting them know this is an offering they can take advantage of from SHI and communicating the value proposition."

Over the next year as the 3-D printer market continues to grow, Ingram Micro's Grant said, the company will continue to further educate and support partners in this dynamic arena.

"Ingram is making a tremendous approach in education around the category. Our partners will see us build out the portfolio, build out the education and get them up to speed on how to make money and how to build a service arm around it," said Grant. "They will see content for the end-user space, and the content will get more 'verticalized' for different industries over time as we start to see success stories, and we will advocate those solutions and bring it back to partners to adopt the technology."

PUBLISHED JAN. 31, 2014