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It took a while for distributors to find their place in managed services, but the race is finally on. Just as Tech Data jumps into the market with its own offering, Ingram Micro is expanding its Seismic managed services palette.

Ingram Micro, of Santa Ana, Calif., on May 7 revealed four additions to its Seismic Virtual Services Warehouse, including a NOC (network operations center) and managed help desk offering.

The additions, which also include automation software and an e-mail and Web security offering, allow solution providers to offer their customers more value options in the form of managed services, according to the distributor.

“Our goal is to give solution providers the ability to access and leverage a comprehensive suite of recurring revenue service offerings that can be private-labeled by the solution provider and offered as part of their own service portfolio,” said Justin Crotty, vice president of services at Ingram Micro North America.

The Seismic expansion comes as Tech Data, of Clearwater, Fla., launches its own managed services initiative. Tech Data teamed up with N-able Technologies, of Ottawa, to anchor its offerings on the vendor’s managed services platform.

N-able had an unofficial relationship with Ingram Micro until last fall, when the distributor decided to instead partner with N-able archrival Level Platforms, also of Ottawa, to launch a formal program.

Around the same time another distributor, San Jose, Calif.-based Bell Microproducts, was teaming up with managed services platform vendor SilverBack Technologies, of Billerica, Mass. Previously, Access Distribution, now part of Tempe, Ariz.-based Avnet, had partnered with vendor Klir Technologies, of Seattle, for their own managed services initiative.

By jumping into managed services, distributors say they make it possible for solution providers to adopt the model with a low cost of entry. Providers that go it alone and set up their own NOC, from which the remote monitoring and management that is central to the model takes place, have to make a big upfront investment.

In announcing its Seismic additions, Ingram Micro said providers can increase their remote services capabilities without burdensome operating costs.

“We want to reduce the barriers for solution providers looking to offer recurring revenue solutions,” said Crotty.

The Seismic Managed NOC, Crotty said, will handle routine remote management tasks for providers, while the help desk service allows providers to offer customers 24-hour service without having to staff it themselves.

Another addition to the Seismic program is software from Autotask that allows partners to keep track of billing, scheduling and a number of other technical service-related tasks.

VARs will have the option of buying the software directly from Autotask or from Ingram Micro. Autotask will continue to provide training, implementation services and support, said Jake Carroll, vice president of channel sales.

The Seismic e-mail and Web security offering is built around filtering technology from MX Logic, of Englewood, Colo., whose hosted service model has netted the vendor about 600 channel partners in the last several years.

“Our ultimate goal is to really enable our partners to get into managed services without a total reset of their businesses,” said Steve McCutcheon, MX Logic’s vice president of marketing.