Ingram Micro Helps Out

Distributor offers certification, services aid to SMB partners

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Ingram Micro aims to help small-business solution providers better manage their vendor certifications and market their professional services.

The distributor is upgrading its internal systems to alert its Venture Tech Network members when updates are needed.

"We need to be able to notify them when their certifications expire, or if someone leaves their company, we need to be able to say, 'Here's where you're not covered any longer.' Secondly, we need to help [them get those certs in a more efficient manner," said Bob Stegner, vice president of business development at Ingram Micro.

>> A systems upgrade will help alert Venture Tech members when certification updates are needed.


"If I can go to a [vendor and say, 'I have 195 members whose certs run out this year,' and I want to set up something for 195 resellers,vs. one guy in Des Moines who has to do it himself,that should save everybody some money," he said.

Stegner said he plans to discuss the issue with solution providers at Ingram Micro's Venture Tech Network Invitational event here this week.

"[Tracking certifications is not the primary focus of my business, but it has to be an adjunct just to keep up with everything," said Jane Cage, owner of Connecting Point, Joplin, Mo., a Venture Tech member.

Meanwhile, Venture Tech also is developing a program to enable members to resell professional services to other members on a SKU basis, said Leonard DiCostanzo, president of Turnkey Computer Systems, Clifton, N.J., and a Venture Tech member.

The program would allow resellers to offer solutions they don't regularly provide and would complement Ingram Micro's National Service Network, which helps members share break-fix services opportunities, said DiCostanzo.

"I've put wireless networks up in San Francisco and Toronto. If people know what you're doing and what you're capable of doing, you have another business partner," he said.

Shared professional services should be an easy addition to Ingram Micro's existing infrastructure, Stegner said.

"To put a professional services group in place from scratch would take us one to two years," he said. "We can take our existing software and processes into our existing customer base and be able to do the same thing."

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