Reliable IT Goes Head-To-Head With Ingram


Reliable IT, Springfield, Va.—which is in talks with Dell to deliver nationwide field services for the Round Rock, Texas, computer maker—plans to introduce a VAR Portal in two months that will enable solution providers to privately label Reliable IT’s online field services dispatch system, said Scott Shaul, president and CEO. The VAR Portal can orchestrate within hours and at a fixed price that nationwide IT services VARs mark up themselves, he said.

“Ingram is not the answer for services, and this will go head-to-head with them,” Shaul said.

Reliable IT is better than Ingram Micro Service Network, or IMSN, at rapid execution and nationwide coordination, said Bill Willett, vice president of sales and alliances at CBE Technologies, a Boston IMSN member who also uses Reliable IT. If a field services job has been scheduled far in advance, IMSN can perform in a very comprehensive manner, he said. But in an emergency, Reliable IT wins hands down, he said. Ingram Micro, Santa Ana, Calif., sees Reliable IT’s VAR Portal as a replica of the dot-com hardware era, said Jason Beal, group manager of IMSN. Calling Reliable IT a loose affiliation of independent technicians who could hurt or even steal a VAR’s business, Beal said Reliable IT “may not be a positive entity for the channel.”

Both Reliable IT and IMSN boast 15,000 technicians on nationwide standby. Each can be dispatched within two hours, they said. All of Reliable IT’s prices are fixed—any type of server can be diagnosed and recovered for $150 plus $89 for each hour past the first, according to Reliable IT Sales Manager Lance Lapworth. IMSN prices are negotiated between cooperating participants, Beal said. Each has strict quality control and accountability regulations.

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If the only difference between IMSN and Reliable IT is price, then that can become the deciding factor, said Bill Murray, vice president of Advanced Micro Computer Systems, an IMSN member and Reliable IT user in Horsham, Pa. “Reliable [IT] is generally less expensive so we try them first,” he said.