Ingram To Point VARs On Right Path

The idea was presented to Ingram by a small Gulf Coast reseller trying to figure out how to get involved in recovery opportunities, said Bob Laclede, vice president and general manager of government and education sales at the distributor.

“We figured there had to be someone they should be talking to with Homeland Security or with the State of Louisiana. We put a task force together to find those resources for resellers,” Laclede said. “It helps resellers understand who they should be talking to directly with a state or federal agency. We&'re saying here&'s contacts at those contracting agencies you should be talking to.”

Ingram Micro also is seeking to aggregate discounts from its 300 vendors participating in the GovEd Alliance to ensure that solution providers engaging in relief opportunities following Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma get the best possible pricing.

Chris Vincent, senior vice president of Global Data Systems, a Lafayette, La.-based solution provider with several government contracts, said the program sounds good but may be difficult to implement effectively. “Where the connections are happening are realtime [and] on-site,” Vincent said. “Unless you&'re there, it&'s going to be challenging to locate the right people. Some of these places don&'t have phones yet. It&'s not like clients are calling [around]. They&'re asking ‘Can you do this?&' to the guy standing there.”

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But there are more agencies still seeking help than help available, Laclede said.

“There are some major systems integrators that have been involved with FEMA, but they also need some IT equipment to help put things back together. After that, there&'s IT infrastructure that has to be fixed as well,” Laclede said.