Ingram, Cisco Promise VARs A New Experience

For Cisco solution providers whose needs go well beyond pick, pack and ship, Ingram Micro is hoping to offer, well, a whole new "experience."

Starting Tuesday, partners will be able to access Ingram's brand-new Experience Center, a 1,000-square-foot facility and demonstration center dedicated to advanced Cisco architectures such as data center, borderless networks and collaboration.

The Experience Center will be located within Ingram's larger solution center in Buffalo, N.Y., and include classrooms, exhibitions, showcase areas and demonstration capabilities. It'll include more than $2 million worth of technology, including Cisco's Unified Computing System (UCS) in both its B-series blade server and C-series rack-mount server flavors, all of the Cisco Nexus data center switches, Cisco's full TelePresence, video surveillance and digital signage lines, and all Cisco UC products.

"This is Ingram creating a competitive differentiator," said Holly Garcia, senior director of vendor management at the distributor. "We're looking at business scenarios and helping to solve those problems, and providing something unique for our partners."

Sponsored post

The Experience Center will be open to all of Ingram's Cisco-authorized partners in North America, who will be able to take technical and sales-focused training courses, use the facility for meeting needs (such as through onsite TelePresence rooms) and also bring customers and sales teams in for demonstrations on Cisco equipment.

Authorized North American partners will also be able to access Experience Center resources virtually, including training. The center itself will be staffed year-round by both a CCIE (Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert) and a Cisco-certified classroom instructor.

"It's the complete spectrum," said Julie Hens, vice president of North American distribution for Cisco. "It's a robust classroom and a pretty extreme lab, where you can get hands-on experience with many of the architectures."

According to Garcia and Hens, Buffalo was a logical choice for the Experience Center -- instead of near Ingram Micro headquarters in Santa Ana, Calif. -- because of its proximity to Canada and East Coast-based Ingram and Cisco partners.

About 40 Ingram Micro and Cisco partners, plus executives from Cisco, Ingram and partner companies such as APC, will be in attendance for a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday.