Ingram Micro Canada launches vertical market focused SMB plan

Ingram Micro Canada has revamped its Canadian SMB Alliance program that will attempt to, for the first time, lead resellers and vendors down a straight path toward the end user.

The new program will be based on eight strategic vertical markets. They include: education, manufacturing, legal,

graphics, medical, resources, accounting and financial. The distributor will target about 300 VARs for this program, although Dave Walsh, vice-president of marketing for Ingram Micro Canada said each segment will have between 10 to 15 VARs.

Walsh admits the core group will be about 120, but added that Ingram wants to share information about these vertical markets with other resellers.

“”It is an initiative to empower selected Canadian VARs to market vendor solutions to small-and-medium sized corporations in a specific vertical marketplace,”” Walsh said.

The no-fee program also includes solutions-based education training, best practices sharing and partner engagements with vendors and resellers. Those chosen to be in the Canadian SMB Alliance will receive solutions and market education training through two-day invitational symposiums. These symposiums will also be market specific and will start tomorrow with Ingram’s Financial event at the company’s headquarters in Mississauga, Ont. The symposiums will continue throughout the summer and into the fall ending on Oct. 23. For those outside the province of Ontario, Ingram will bring its SMB Alliance symposiums to Quebec and Western Canada in the forum of retreats throughout the year.

Ingram has managed to partner with 21 vendors for this Canadian SMB Alliance program. They include: SMC Networks, NEC-Mitsubishi, Lexmark, HP, Microsoft, Epson, Cisco, Symantec, and Viewsonic. It also includes IBM and its software division

Bruno Pupo, area director for NEC-Mitsuibishi, said the SMB Alliance program goes beyond that of traditional distribution programs.

“”Normally the programs offered by distribution do not take a lot of consideration of the end user community. This targets key vertical end user customers,”” Pupo said.

The benefits are mainly with cost savings. It allows NEC-Mitsubishi to market itself to a specific vertical market without the expense. The costs are shared among the 21 vendor partners in the program, Pupo said.

“”The economies of scale are great and it offers us the opportunity to communicate to all these verticals,”” he said.

For Ron Moreno, director of sales and services for Toronto-based VAR Real Systems Inc., he expects to leaverage the manufacturers in the program to help him understand the products better. He also wants to work with other resellers in the Financial and Manufacturing segments to improve Real Systems’ relationships with clients.

“”I think it will help our business to get the word out there that smaller VARs can provide the same services as the larger resellers,”” Moreno said.

He added that far too man

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