Distributor outlines steps it’s taking during coronavirus outbreak to ease channel worries
Ingram Micro is reaching out to partners to let them know steps the giant IT distributor is taking to support them during the coronavirus pandemic, even as the company itself is adjusting by making such moves as expanding its work-from-home policies.
The Lowdown: In a letter to partners, Kirk Robinson, senior vice president and U.S. chief country executive for Ingram Micro, said the company has established Business Continuity Management Programs and Emergency Action Plans in line with ISO certification.
The Details: The steps Ingram Micro is taking for partners include:
> Proactive outreach: Field sales representatives are contacting partners, prioritizing orders for remote devices like new laptops and finding refurbished ones, and putting partners in contact with experts in such areas as remote work, unified communications (UC), and security.
> Inventory: Ingram Micro is working to ensure products are allocated fairly across the distribution network, particularly for such high-demand products like VPNs, Unified Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS), cameras, and laptops.
> Bundled solutions: The distributor is making bundles available for remote work, cloud, the Internet of Things (IoT), cybersecurity, virtual desktops, and hybrid and software-defined computing.
> Financials: Credit representatives are working with partners on financial services and credit options, including leasing products, financing for cloud and managed services, and consolidating products and services into a single invoice. Fees for most financial programs also are temporarily being waived.
> Working together: Communities in Ingram’s Trust X Alliance (for IT solution providers) and SMB Alliances are supporting each other with managed services and cloud and on-premises solutions.
> Communication: Virtual training and events are being hosted on a range of technical solutions and partner needs. Also, for partners, the best way to contact their sales teams is via e-mail. In addition, support can be accessed through the Micro Online website.
The Impact: Ingram officials are keeping the lines of communication open to partners and stakeholders during the COVID-19 outbreak. The company on March 9 published a letter to stakeholders outlining steps it had taken in such areas as company facilities and travel and updated its efforts in a letter to partners a week later. It also has a page on its website devoted to its response to the novel coronavirus.
The Buzz: “Stay vigilant on fraudulent business practices and phishing attacks,” Robinson wrote in the letter. “Unfortunately, bad actors are taking advantage of the situation created by the COVID-19 situation. Check e-mails and orders carefully and watch for any red flags. And if it does not seem right, pick up the phone and give us a call. Let us know how we can help you and your colleagues during this unprecedented time. We will continue to keep the lines of communication open, and we appreciate your patience as we all adjust to new and temporary work processes.”