At first glance, Ingram Micro has introduced partner financing programs that address multiple technology as a service consumption models. But the Ingram strategy goes far beyond the OpEx technology spending trend. Take a closer look, and you'll discover the distributor is making moves to help partners win every customer deal possible, according to Kirk Robinson, senior VP of U.S. Go to Market.
During multiple ChannelE2E briefings at the Ingram Micro TrustX Alliance conference last week, Robinson and peer executives described Ingram's latest financial offerings and initiatives to partners. Yes, technology as a service is an overriding trend, says Kelly Carter, executive director, Ingram Micro Financial Services. But the distributor is evolving in multiple ways beyond aligning financing with cloud and managed services models. The effort includes more financial staff, lending, and financial support for partners to win more deals.
Among the highlights: Ingram Micro says its new “Technology as a Service” program includes:
- Creative short- and long-term financing solutions such as flexible leasing options that bundle IT services and solutions into a consolidated monthly invoice;
- hardware-as-a-service and hardware-as-a-rental on new and refurbished technologies;
- full or partial funding for recurring revenue model engagements; and
- end of life options.
Yes, plenty of distributors and technology companies offer financing to partners. But the true barrier to entry is $1 billion in credit, Robinson asserts. Not by coincidence, Ingram Micro over the past 14 months has extended more than $1.1 billion in credit to channel partners in the U.S.
Ingram Micro Financial Executives: In the Spotlight
Over the past decade, Ingram has put its own CIO and IT directors on stage to describe technology trends. Now, the company is adding financial executives to the mix. Folks like Anthony Mackle (SVP and Chief Financial Executive, USA and Export) and Bill Brandel (VP and Country Chief Executive, Canada) had a major presence at last week's conference. During many one-on-one meetings with partners last week, Mackle described Ingram's financial know-how and programs. The common partner reply: "We didn't know you did that," Mackle quips when describing the reactions he heard.
Ingram also is educating partners and customers about evolving accounting rules. For instance, shifts are coming in the leasing market. Under new guidance, a lessee will be required to recognize assets and liabilities for leases with lease terms of more than 12 months, according to Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) guidance that surfaced in 2016.
That new ASU (Accounting Standard on Leases) will take effect for public companies for fiscal years, and interim periods within those fiscal years, beginning after December 15, 2018. For all other organizations, the ASU on leases will take effect for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2019, and for interim periods within fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2020.
What does all that mean? Partners need to understand how evolving accounting standards could impact customer and/or partner balance sheets, Cartner notes.
Ingram Micro Financing: What's Next?
Among the key priorities for the rest of this year -- and sound bites from our meetings last week:
- Communicate, Communicate, Communicate about the financial programs, Ingram executives told us.
- "Tell us what it's gonna take to close the deal," adds Mackle.
- "I can see a day when we're not talking about the cloud," says Brandel. "What we're really talking about is how customers and partners will procure technology and pay for it."
- "This is all about the customer and time to consumption," says Robinson. "We’re helping them achieve faster time to consumption. Yes, we're out to win every deal. But what we're really focused on is helping the partner to win the customer."
For more info, partners should check in with their credit analyst of email [email protected], Ingram said.