Ingram Micro Intros Data Wipe Service for Retired Hardware

By Alison Diana  |  Print this article Print

The move to virtualization and cloud computing has left behind retired and unwanted hardware. Now Ingram Micro has introduced a service, IT Asset Disposition (ITAD), enabling partners to offer secure removal of data from an array of devices.

Virtualization, cloud computing, and data-center consolidation leave in their wake unwanted hardware—and an environmental and security headache for solution providers and their customers. To address these concerns, Ingram Micro today unveiled its IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) Services for resale by channel partners in North America.

Through a partnership with U.S. Micro, Ingram Micro’s ITAD Services allow solution providers to offer businesses and consumers the secure removal of data from an array of IT devices such as disk drives, SD memory cards, printers, copiers, and other electronic devices that carry digital histories. The service also eliminates the risk of future liability organizations may face through improper disposal of electronic waste and potentially hazardous materials.

These services are approved for use in regulatory-intensive markets such as healthcare, since they are HIPAA-approved.

"We offer partners the ability now to go into a physician office or hospital and offer asset management and asset disposal," Michael Humke, senior director, public sector and healthcare markets, Ingram Micro U.S., told Channel Insider. "Here’s a solution that allows you to step up your service and support for your customers."

With ITAD Services, solution providers now can bid on national requests for proposals, said John Redman, manager of professional services at Ingram Micro, in an interview. Without the service, most partners were unable to do so because the process involved forging ad hoc partnerships with regional asset-disposition firms across the country, he said. This was a time-consuming, expensive proposition for most VARs, said Humke.

"It gives them a world-class service to take to market. It’s something a regional partner would never be able to build themselves," he said. "There are millions of devices out there prime for recycling right now. The opportunity is tremendous going into 2012 and beyond."

The white-label service, which appears as a SKU, is open to all Ingram Micro partners, Redman said. When a solution provider sells the service to a customer, U.S. Micro representatives go to the customer site, ensure everything is compliant and meets expectations, and then inventory the equipment. Once inventory is confirmed, U.S. Micro runs a Department of Defense-complaint script to cleanse equipment of all the data, Redman said. U.S. Micro packages equipment up for secure shipping and transport back to one of its two centers in either Atlanta or Las Vegas via Brink’s truck, where it is once again inventoried and matched-back to the original list.

At that point, the equipment receives a three-swipe DOD cleansing of data to make sure no information remains. It is then either remarketed and reintroduced or broken down to component parts via industrial shredders, and the components are reused as possible, Redman said.

"The security risk, regulatory requirements and environmental concerns around how to get rid of old or unwanted technology are weighing heavily on businesses and consumers, and with good reason," said Ted Tilden, senior director of sales, U.S. Micro, in a statement. "Recent reports indicate that Americans trash more than two million tons of personal and professional electronics each year – six times more than what is recycled. It’s a frightening reality that cannot be sustained and calls for immediate and meaningful actions."

In fact, green IT will become increasingly important over the next few years, according to a 2011 study by CompTIA. The CompTIA study found  that 35 percent of organizations reported having a comprehensive green strategy for practices such as reducing energy consumption, equipment usage/design, recycling/product disposal, carbon footprint and employee behaviors.