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Ingram’s Seismic climbs the services scale

Four new additions to the distributor's virtual services warehouse are intended to complete the offering

Ingram Micro Canada has expanded its managed services offerings by adding four new products to its Seismic Virtual Services Warehouse.Launched in October, Seismic allows partners to sell managed services to their clients with Ingram providing the backend infrastructure and enabling technology.

The additions include Seismic Managed Network Operations Centre (NOC), Seismic Managed Help Desk, Seismic PSA Tool – which will be powered by partner Autotask – and Seismic Email and Web Defence, powered by partner MX Logic. The new offerings will be available in late May.

Richard Caballero, senior sales manager with Ingram Canada, said the four new service areas help complete its managed services protfolio.

“Suddenly the VAR has the total solution,” said Caballero. “A lot of VARs have been waiting on the sidelines for the total solution to come out.”

Ingram has targeted companies with 50 employees or less, which Caballero said are unlikely to have their own IT department. Companies with satellite operations and knowledge-based customers, like medical offices, are also good fits.

Since Seismic was launched, Caballero said 150 partners have come on board, including 100 from Canada. Response has been strong, but Caballero said it takes time for a partner to reorient their business toward offering managed services. “It’s not just a product sale for them,” said Caballero. “They have to be able to adapt their environment to offer managed services.”

Ingram is not currently restricting what partners can offer Seismic, but Caballero said Ingram has partnered with other vendors to form MSP Partners, an industry alliance that is working to develop standards and best practices around managed services.

And managed services, said Caballero, is changing the game for VARs. While before they’d operate in reactive mode, sending a technician on premises once something has gone wrong, managed services allows for remote monitoring and can provide VARs with proactive alerts, allowing them to fix a problem before the system is disrupted, often without sending a technician onsite, before the client is even aware of the issue.

“Now they can prevent the downtime, and they can also fix it remotely. From a VAR standpoint it drives staffing efficiency,” noted Caballero, adding the same number of technicians can now service two or three times as many customers.

In addition to helping with customer retention and providing a steady, predictable revenue stream through a subscription model, Caballero said managed services also give a VAR unique and often exclusive insight into a client’s technology infrastructure that can be used to gain the inside track on future business, such as upgrade projects.

InSite Computer Group, a Markham, Ont.-based Ingram partner, has already developed its own managed services plays in several of the areas Ingram is entering, such as network operations, but is using Ingram’s Level Platforms Managed Workplace offering.

Doron Kaminski, vice-president of business development with InSite, said with margins shrinking across the board on hardware, and VARs moving toward utility-based computing, Ingram’s play makes sense.