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Ingram Micro Inc. announced a deal with Best Buy that will connect hundreds of solution providers with Best Buy’s small and medium business channel – potentially yielding a vast supply of new business for solution providers, and giving Best Buy a shot at much more complex deployments for customers.

The deal connects Best Buy For Business, Best Buy’s SMB-oriented sales operation, and its Geek Squad service unit, with the Ingram Micro Services Network (IMSN), a service that connects over 800 Ingram partners together to partner them on services projects in the US and Canada.
“This is a great opportunity for us to deal with a large partner who will add customers and revenue to our network,” said Jason Beal, director of sales for Ingram Micro’s services division. “At the same time, we provide Best Buy an entré into the service provider market.”

“Brian Weaver, manager of services development for IMSN, said that Best Buy For Business serves a different customer base than the network’s existing service providers, who collectively have over 10,000 technicians. “From a best buy perspective , this gives them an opportunity to win business they have typically have not gone after.” Ingram’s services group includes a project deployment team, he said, which has the ability to assist with large rollouts across multiple partners.

Ingram’s services unit supports IMSN with a call center, web applications and a dedicated staff. The
IM Onsight web application makes it possible for partners to put together a statement and scope of work, find partners by geography or specialty, and set pre-approved billing rates. The system tracks job tickets through the life of a project, and Ingram takes care of the financial end of all IMSN transactions.

Beal says that IMSN also tracks the performance of its members to guarantee a level of work and customer satisfaction.
Ingram’s partner solution providers seem to welcome Best Buy’s entry into the network. “Anytime we get an opportunity to get additional incremental revenue driven into our business, it’s a good thing,” said Mike Novotny, owner of Intertech Computers of Phoenix, Ariz.

Novotny said he wasn’t concerned about Best Buy’s access to services cutting into his company’s business. “If our customers were willing to to settle for the level of service from a Geek Squad, they wouldn’t be buying from us in the first place, because we lead with services first. Over 40% of our business is value-added services.”

40% of biz is pro services

We lead with professional services