Ingram Micro Adds EHR Vendor NextGen Healthcare

NextGen will fit nicely into Ingram's IMStimulus program, which helps VARs develop business opportunities around the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), said Bob Laclede, vice president of business development for Ingram Micro U.S.

"We put our health-care team in place about a year ago. We had medical carts, networking gear, other products. But looking at the physician's office level and driven by the stimulus package, it was clear we had to have an EHR solution on our line card," Laclede said. "We wanted [an EHR vendor], one that had some brand recognition. We wanted a package also that was in small doctor's offices and one that has EHR and practice management systems that could be moving to the cloud. NextGen could do that."

NextGen, a wholly owned subsidiary of Quality Systems, based in Horsham, Pa., was selected with the help of Ingram Micro's health-care advisory council from about 400 EHR vendors on the market, Laclede said.

The distributor whittled the 400 down to a handful after eliminating companies that weren't major players in the EHR space and didn't have some semblance of a channel model that wouldn't create conflict with a direct sales force, Laclede said.

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"I don't think Ingram wanted to teach someone the channel. We wanted someone that knew what a VAR did and has the right programs. They have 25 VARs today and we aim to raise that to several hundred," he said.

NextGen has two channel programs, Laclede said. One is a full program for VARs that target doctors' offices and will do assessment, configuration, installation and maintenance services of NextGen's applications. The other is an alliance partner model in which the VAR supports the infrastructure but NextGen supports the software at the customer level.

Larry Rine, CEO of Intersect IT Solutions, a Chicago-based VAR and member of Ingram's health-care advisory committee, said NextGen will be a strategic addition to the distributor's health-care portfolio.

"In terms of functionality and support and stability as an organization, they are the market leader. NextGen is probably one of only a couple of EHR companies that have brand equity. It's deserved," Rine said.