Ingram Micro Ups VoIP Ante


Spurred by its recent authorization to carry Nortel Networks' Business Communication Manager (BCM) product family, the distributor is investing more resources and developing programs to help solution providers sell more integrated voice and data systems, said Ken Bast, vice president of networking, security and mobility vendor management at Ingram, Santa Ana, Calif.

"Can you make money selling this technology, and how do you get there. First is business planning. Second is certifications. Third is technical support," Bast said. "We're hiring market development managers. We're offering a number of different training classes to help [VARs] get the first level of certification."

Last month, Nortel expanded its distribution agreements with Ingram, Synnex and Westcon Group. Ingram continues to carry Cisco CallManager and 3Com NBX/VCX VoIP solutions as well as unified communications products from 3Com, Microsoft, Polycom, Linksys, Frontrange and Allied Telesis.

Ingram also plans to expand the communications products showcased in its California and New York solutions centers, he said. The distributor hopes to get between 50 and 100 solution providers selling unified communications in the next six months, he said.

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Ingram's expertise has already helped at least one solution provider close a $100,000 unified communications deal. Computek International, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., sold a Cisco Call Manager Express solution after showcasing it for a customer at Ingram's solutions center.

Ingram and Cisco also provided the path for the solution provider to get that business up and running, said Montie Whisner, director of business development at Computek.

"I hesitate to say we couldn't have done it without them, but I can say we wouldn't have done it," Whisner said.