Ingram Micro announces new business development tools for VTN partners

DENVER – During its fall VentureTech Network (VTN) Invitational event, held here, Ingram Micro Inc. announced three new resources for its VTN partners to take advantage of: VTN Connect, VTN Business Intelligence Dashboard and Lead Generation Tool and VTN Rebate Tracker.

John Fago, senior director of channel marketing for Ingram Micro, described VTN Connect as a way to promote workplace collaboration across all levels of the business. The program is made up of two tracks, which include a Master Mind Advisory Group and an education track.

“The Master Mind Advisory group provides a non-competitive leadership experience and a board of advisors made up of peers,” Fago said. “The group lets members talk about things like strategies, how they run their business to be more efficient, and how they utilize business analytics.”

The second track in VTN Connect focuses on education and getting partners participating in vendor certifications. It also lets employees who are below the senior executive-level get involved with functional training, he added.

Kirk Robinson, vice-president of channel marketing for Ingram Micro North America, said the VTN Business Intelligence Dashboard and Lead Generation Tool will provide partners with more leads.

“This is a new Web-based lead generation tool that will enable partners to find leads, customer refresh and growth opportunities, and track and measure success,” Robinson said. “The tool also has CRM (customer relationship management) capabilities too.”

The tool provides partners with customizable data that comes from a partner’s own sales data, which is collected over a span of five years, appended with end-user intelligence from Ingram Micro’s database of over two million end-user records.

JoeAnne Hardy, president of Saskatoon, Sask.-based WBM Office Systems, a systems integrator and also a chartered VTN member, said that while her company hasn’t had a chance to work with the new tool yet, she has caught an initial glimpse of it.

“On the surface, the tool looks like an opportunity for us to build a practice around to achieve successful lead generation campaigns because we’ll be getting real data and customer info,” she said.

Hardy said that especially in these tough economic times, it would be easy for partners to think that distribution partners would be pulling back in their investment offerings.

“With Ingram Micro and the VTN community, this has been the exact opposite,” Hardy said. “There have been more resources assigned to us and more new projects launched in the last 12 months than I’ve ever seen before.”

The Ingram Micro VTN RebateTracker is a service that provides partners with the ability to track, report on and forecst rebate and spiff dollars based on the products and solutions that are sold each month.

“We’re stepping up our game to give VTN members the resources, programs and voice they need to build an even greater competitive edge within the IT channel and mainstream business community,” Fago said.

All three business resource development tools are currently in their pilot stages, but will be made available to members in Q1 2010.

The distributor also used the event to announce a formal VTN Facebook page and a Twitter account.

“We’ll blow the walls away on collaboration and will actively and participate in the new social media,” Fago said. “We’ll use this as a launch pad for us and our partners to share best practices, videos and testimonials. Facebook for VTN will be one place for vendors, members and Ingram Micro associates to collaborate and keep everyone updated.”

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Maxine Cheung
Maxine Cheung
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