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Ingram puts professional services on steroids

Channel StrategyCloudIngram Micro

PHOENIX – Ingram Micro’s 15 year-old professional services program IMSN (Ingram Micro Services Network) was in need of a makeover. Instead it got a complete transformation at the distributor’s Cloud Summit, held here. Gone are the name and all of the fees. The new program will be called IM Link and it will be free of any charges or membership dues. The old closed system will now be wide open to solution providers across Canada and the U.S. and it will also be more than a break-fix service, according to Jason Bystrak, director of sales, Ingram Micro Services Division, North America.

IM Link will operate as a non-competitive service delivery framework featuring four categories: planning, implementation, management and support. The IM Link will expand on the IMSN break-fix service with software application and development, integration and data migration services, assessment services and remote service delivery and installation services.

The new IM Link service as noted will be free but Ingram Micro went a little further and also removed fees on transactions or monthly services. There will also be a new Web site: www.ingrammicrolink.com.

“This professional services program will help solution providers collaborate better and will have bigger margin services such as lifecycle IT management and with the cloud now they will be able to find people with the right software implementation skills for solutions from Salesforce.com and Microsoft with SharePoint,” Bystrak said.

Canadian president Mark Snider called IM Link “professional services on steroids.” Snider anticipates that the current membership in IMSN could double. Ingram Canada currently has 50 solution provider members in the IMSN program.

“We are aiming for a higher level of technical ability for the Canadian marketplace. From my perspective, we should get partners in IM Link from coast-to-coast in Canada. Today we have more complex solutions and will needed to increase the level of technical expertise. And break-fix is a total commodity today,” Snider said.

Despite being open to any solution provider signed with Ingram Micro, IM Link will not just accept anyone. Those contracted for IM Link engagements will be carefully screened, Bystrak said.

IM Link solution provider members will be asked to sign non-compete and confidentiality agreements and will deliver services and support under the brand name of the IM Link customer requesting the service.

Ingram Micro will also allow IM Link members to fulfill specific projects, deploy regional or national rollouts and facilitate ongoing service agreements without risk, brand confusion or price discrepancy.