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Looking for advice on how to tap into the grant money from the American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also known as the Obama administration’s
economic stimulus package?  

Ingram Micro has expanded its partnership with The Grants Office, a company
that specializes in identifying grants and creating grant submissions, in an
effort to help resellers and solution providers get a piece of the stimulus
pie.

The stimulus package calls for anywhere from $60 billion to $80 billion of IT
spend, according to Bob Laclede, vice president of business development at
Ingram Micro U.S.

“Sixty percent of those IT stimulus dollars are through line item budgets, and
40 percent are through the grants process,” Laclede says. In the grants process,
federal agencies—Health and Human Services, for example—set up rules for how
grant money will be awarded. Then those who are eligible apply for the grants.

“If the solution provider can get in and help the end user figure out what they
want to buy, craft the solutions and maybe wrap some services in there—and then
help with the grant request—the solution provider has a better chance of
winning,” Laclede says.

Solution providers pay a fee of $2,500 to participate in the program. In exchange
they get a list of leads—Ingram Micro customers whose technology purchasing
needs are mapped against the Grant Office’s database of technology grant
eligibility and sources of funds. Then The Grants Office can help coach the
solution provider through the grant process, serving as a kind of a help desk
for grant writing and submission, says Laclede.

The $2,500 fee, charged on a per sales representative seat/team basis, is also
eligible to be rebated to the solution provider as deals are fulfilled through
Ingram Micro. Once a sales representative is engaged in the process, he or she
works with a firewalled representative within The Grants Office to prevent any
conflicts between VARs that may be going after the same deals.

Laclede says Ingram Micro has piloted the program with two solution providers
so far, and many more are looking to participate. Ingram Micro is looking to
formally launch the program in July, and Laclede warns that the grant process
can take anywhere from three to six months.

Ingram Micro has previously partnered with The Grants Office for help with some
of its initiatives aimed at the education market in the form of the eRate
program. The new program is exclusive to Ingram Micro, says Laclede.