Ingram Micro upbeat on government sales

ATLANTA ? Ingram Micro reported strong government sales and revealed programs from five technology vendors to boost margins for its resellers in the government market at its GovEd Alliance conference today.

Speaking at the conference, Robert Laclede, Ingram's vice president and general manager for government and education sales, said business in the federal market rose 18.9 percent so far in 2006 versus 2005. The state and local market is growing as well, but somewhat more slowly at 13.3 percent.

He added that municipal business is the stronger piece of the state and local mix. Some states' efforts at so-called strategic sourcing, or consolidating their buying power, has made it tougher for smaller contractors, Laclede said.

Sales bonuses for members of Ingram's GovEd Alliance announced at the conference were:

  • IBM Corp. will increase its rebates to Ingram resellers of servers and storage gear from two points to three points through 2007.
  • Lenovo Inc. will give an additional 1 percent discount under a deal registration program, plus pay individual sales people $50 or $100 for each new customer of Lenovo notebook or desktop PCs they order from Ingram.
  • Planar Systems Inc. will double its discount to 5 percent on all products sold through its Ingram supply agreement. Planar makes flat panel and command and control displays and digital signage.
  • Symantec Corp., a manufacturer of security and IT management software, will make several products available free to small VARs and resellers.
  • TEAC Corp. will give an additional 5 percent discount to registered deals for its storage products.

Laclede also said in 2007, Ingram would develop what he called an contract agency model. It would establish a supply contract with a state or municipality, but enlist resellers as the sales agents for fulfillment.

As to whether Ingram would take such business for itself, Laclede said the company "would never take it direct." But, he said, Ingram brings the clout its small and midsized resellers lack to negotiate such contracts. Laclede said Ingram would start initially with one state and one or two suppliers.

Ingram Micro is a wholesale distributor of computer products to about 165,000 resellers around the globe. The company also offers a wide range of services for its resellers and suppliers.

The company's GovEd Alliance conference targets small and midsized, government-focused resellers and integrators.

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