On The Hunt For The Right VARs

“In cities of over 100,000 people, we&d like at least one VTN member to cover a number of different solutions. In big cities, we may get three or more,” Spierkel said. “We will say, ‘Here&s what VTN represents. Here&s what our expectations are. Here&s what it means to you.& ”

The move is a significant departure from Ingram Micro&s stance of about two years ago when VentureTech cut members for failing to meet loyalty and performance requirements.

That move led to the departure of several longtime members. Spierkel, however, said the paring down was necessary.

“There were some commitment issues to Ingram Micro and overlap in some areas,” he said. “Now both sides are saying there are pockets of opportunity. If there is a concern, the [regional] chapter chairs have an active role in identifying and agreeing to something that makes sense.”

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In addition to geography and specialization criteria, prospective members need to meet purchasing loyalty and certification standards, said Justin Crotty, vice president of North America channel marketing. Solution providers will no longer have a grace period for complying with membership standards.

Current VentureTech members welcomed the idea of new partners.

“It&s important and strategic to add new members in appropriate markets and skill sets,” said Jane Cage, president of Heartland Technologies, Joplin, Mo., who said she&d like to see new members focused on security, storage and surveillance.

Spierkel said Ingram Micro does not have a specific number of new partners in mind, but it could be as many as a few dozen.

“[We&re] not saying we&re looking to get 50 percent more. We don&t want to make it open to [just] anybody,” he said.