Ingram Micro Offers Extended Service PlansBy Chris Gonsalves | Posted 2007-07-31 Email Print
Ingram Micro also adding protection plans for white-box desktops and servers and extended service plans for college campus resellers.
Distribution heavyweight Ingram Micro has introduced a set of new, flexible extended-warranty plans for solution providers looking to bolster sales with ongoing repair services for laptops, desktops, servers and peripherals.
Ingram also announced several new additions to its EMC storage offerings.
Ingram's Product Protection Planspick up when manufacturer's warranties expire and are available to cover most equipment regardless of vendor.
The distributor's services division is also offering protection plans for white-box desktops and servers along with special extended service plans for college campus resellers. With Ingram's plans, solution providers can offer their users a variety of services choices from one- to three-year coverage with onsite response times ranging from four hours to next day, according to officials in Santa Ana, Calif.
The service plans, unveiled at CompTIA's Breakaway member conference in Las Vegas July 31, are offered in conjunction with Warranty Corporation of America. WaCA's nationwide network of service providers handle calls for service. If VARs want to serve their customers with extended warranty claims directly, they must join the WaCA authorized program. The plans are available in the U.S. now and will be available to Canadian solution providers by year's end, said Ingram officials.
Jason Beal, director of sales at Ingram Micro Services, said the extended warranties come in response to partner requests for all-inclusive, flexible multivendor service plans that offer a high level of customer service "at an affordable yet profitable price tag."
"VARs wanted the services revenue, but needed a means to simplify and cost-effectively manage the plans, especially when it came to servicing multiple vendor products within a single customer site," said Beal. "Managed service providers in particular wanted to find a means to cover installations with the same beginning and end-term dates for all products under their services plan.
"When a VAR is taking over the management of an end-user's IT environment, and charging typically a flat recurring amount, the VAR needs to minimize potential risk of downtime, product failure, and time and material expenses," Beal added.
Pricing for the plans "depends on the value and category of the product," Beal notes, adding that "there is double-dipping for the VAR with these plans. They make revenue and profit at point of sale, typically healthy margins of 25 percent or more when attaching to new sales, and then again with labor and spare parts reimbursement as well from WaCA when the products need warranty repair."
For system builders specializing in white-box solutions, Ingram offers three service plans, including two 36-month plans with choice of next-day or same-day response; and a one-year, next-day protection plan. For college campus reseller in Ingram's U.S. education partner program, the distributor offers three- and four-year service plans with ADH (Accidental Damage from Handling) coverage for laptops sold at university bookstores.
As for the WaCA certification requirement, Beal said many VARs would likely seek authorized repair status as they "want to service their customers directly as much as possible. It keeps them close to the client and entangled in the business.
"But at times, even they need the regional assistance or extra man-power and that's where WaCA and the Ingram Micro Services Network come into play and can offer affordable and reliable assistance without posing a threat to the account," he added.
Meanwhile today, Ingram's newly minted Infrastructure Technology Solutions division said it had bolstered its EMC storage product portfolio with the additions of CLARiiON and Celerra networked storage systems, and the Centera content addressed storage system. The move complements the company's existing EMC offerings, which include RSA security solutions, Insignia products for small and midsize businesses, and backup and recovery software tools. As part of the EMC expansion at Ingram, the ITS group will begin recruiting and training new EMC partners, officials said. Ingram also plans to add EMC-specific field sales reps and technical consultants to help partners throughout the sales cycle, they said.