Ingram Micro: Professional Services Make Partners ‘Profitable On Day One’

Partners are leveraging the power of Ingram Micro’s professional services and then turning around and creating additional revenue -- helping them become ‘profitable on day one.’


MIS Technology Group’s Chris Norris ran into a resource issue with a project his company was working on for a school system.

“One of our clients is a school system that’s remote, so all kids are spread throughout the state. They were doing testing in many locations all across the state on one day, and it was essentially impossible to send just one person there,” said Norris, COO of the Zachary, La.-based solution provider. “If that went poorly, then our relationship would start to turn sour pretty quickly.”

But by leveraging Ingram Micro professional services, he was able to contract out local companies to be on-site at the various locations, enabling MIS Technology Group to get the job done.

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“That was the first year of that contract, and things had to go really well,” he said. “After that they said, ‘You guys have it handled.’ They felt really comfortable with how we were able to ensure their success in testing.”

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Irvine, Calif.-based distributor Ingram Micro’s professional services can serve as an extension of partners’ businesses to help them with the projects they are working on.

Some of the professional services Ingram Micro offers include managed services, maintenance services, consultancy, automation services, and training that provides insight, expertise and tools.

But one of the most popular offerings partners are tapping into is cybersecurity services, which include penetration testing, vulnerability scanning, compliance and assessments by ethical hackers, and Certified Information Systems Security Professionals (CISSPs) to help with audits.

“Ingram Micro has a very unique position of trust when you think about it in [terms of] how we deliver a service like that,” Paul Hager, vice president of services at Ingram Micro, told CRN. “You can’t have a partner who is doing the security also be the auditor of the security. If it wasn’t for Ingram Micro, [the partner tends] to have to pick a competing partner, invite them into their account and go do that audit work,” he said. “Not only is Ingram Micro really well-certified in this area, we have ethical hackers, we’re CISSPs and we check a lot of those important boxes,” he added. “We meet with our partners—and we never change the results—but we do give

them a preview to be able to have a perspective.”

Another popular offering—and where the distributor is seeing a lot of adoption—is around hybrid cloud services in which Ingram Micro helps partners build their technical capability to deliver cloud services or delivers those services for them.

And Ingram Micro often jointly delivers the content to the customer, which Hager said can be attributed to the level of trust between the distributor and the solution provider. It can use internal staff members who are trained in working with hyperscalers “to teach them how to fish” and help build their technical capabilities or it can deliver the services on behalf of the partner, either temporarily or on an ongoing basis.

“We’re in a unique position in the market,” Hager said. “We have already made investments in a lot of technical stats at a time where getting access to technical talent is difficult. Let us be a place in the channel where we stash some of that knowledge that you can then leverage. When you’re having to make business decisions, you can choose to use our platform of people versus maybe having to hire an individual that’s only going to be 20 percent utilized.”

And whenever Ingram Micro is delivering new services, its partners are turning around and creating additional revenue.

“They’re profitable on day one,” Hager said. “They didn’t have to go make the investment and stand up all the tools and all the people.”

Andrew Walsh, vice president of operations at Syosset, N.Y.-based Allied System Integrators, has been harnessing Ingram Micro’s professional services, mainly its security professional service, for about five years to supplement his company’s existing skill set. Ingram Micro’s name in the industry, trust and global reach is why he chose to further partner with the distributor on additional services.

“We also needed to have a delineation between us as the partner that’s performing the work and the entity that’s performing the assessment of the work that we’ve done,” he told CRN.

This allows Allied System Integrators to capture both ends of the business.

“It’s definitely added a significant amount of business revenue to our bottom line, but also enabled us to really expand our skill set,” he said. “By leveraging professional services and a team that we don’t have, it’s an extension of our own team, and we can capture a lot more business that way. They are just ready to join your army and go to war for you.”