Services Ripe For VentureTech

IBM Global Services is finalizing a deal announced last fall to use VentureTech as its first national service provider network. In addition, Apple Computer has said it sees VentureTech members as a means to provide services for products purchased directly from the vendor.

Ingram Micro and IBM have spent the past several months ironing out rules of engagement to share services leads, said Frank Vitagliano, vice president of distribution channels management at IBM.


IBM's Vitagliano: Ingram and IBM have been ironing out rules of engagement.

"It would have been very easy to develop a couple of quick referrals and well-publicized stories and claim success," Vitagliano said. "That's not the right way to do this thing. The right way is to integrate it into what we do. We've mapped service partner capabilities. We're working on a pricing model and integrating it into our procurement process."

The IGS contract is in the attorneys' hands, said Justin Crotty, senior director of channel development at Ingram Micro. Once it's signed, Ingram Micro will pilot the program. Crotty could not say when the program would become generally available.

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Meanwhile, Apple is looking for a way to share services leads with VentureTech members, said John Brandon, vice president of the Americas and Asia/Pacific at Apple.

"I don't have large professional services team for the commercial side. Channel partners are perfect for [servicing commercial customers]," Brandon said. "There is not a specific services program today. We're interested in hearing back from [VentureTech Network] partners about how we can help them. I think that's a great opportunity for us."

The IGS deal will lay the groundwork for future deals with manufacturers, Crotty said. "Manufacturers want a services-delivery footprint for SMB. We want to be that vehicle," he said.