Will VARs Buy Into Ingram Micro's Peer Groups?

Distributor Ingram Micro has teamed up with Heartland Tech Groups to bring peer-group practices to the masses, or at least the channel masses. In its announcement, Ingram executives say the idea to have soluton providers improve their business practices by accessing and sharing with each other.

On paper I guess this sounds like a good idea, but the truth is, in practice VARs aren't too big on sharing, especially if it involves something that distinguishes them from the rest of the channel competition.Ingram and Heartland say they already have more than 20 "peer groups" operating and are "eager to build upon their success." Hmmm. The idea is that VARs are going to mimic each other and create excellence in their business operations by copying best practices. I think it might take a little bit more than that in the present business environment.

Ingam Micro execs also say in their release that "vendor sponsorship" is avalable for these peer groups, which I think gets more to the point of why this initiative has been launched. It's a revenue opportunity for the distributor. VAR members also pay a $100 monthly fee for membership and adhere to an "operations code"  among the peer groups. All I can say is, there's got to be an awful lot of wisdom being spread around these peer groups for the VARs to keep ponying up. Ingram Micro's initiative received a lot of news coverage, and the focus on the SMB space is probably smart, but I question how many of Ingram's SMB-focused VARs are going to buy in.


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