Distributor Programs Help Resellers Chase Stimulus Money

Ingram’s research indicated that about 60 percent of the stimulus dollars are made available through line item budgets such as infrastructure projects offered through federal government RFPs. The remainder is allotted as grants, in which federal agencies set up rules for awarding grant money and eligible applicants compete for the funding.

Laclede said that Ingram currently is targeting available funds in education, public safety and infrastructure, and expects to add healthcare, energy and broadband later on as money become accessible.

To assist channel partners under the IMStimulus program, Laclede said that Ingram will tap its “public sector RFP sources,” lead services to which the distributor subscribes that track impending RFPs. The distributor will also leverage its database of some three million end user transactions to “help our resellers chase opportunities in the federal, state, local and K- 12” sectors.

In addition, Ingram Micro has expanded its relationship with The Grants Office, a specialist in coaching VARs and end users on how to apply for grants.

“When the Grants Office gets involved early in the process, there is a great opportunity for the VAR to influence what the grants request is going to look like,” Laclede said. He noted that collaboration between the solution provider and end user to frame the solution ups the chances of winning a grant.

Ingram charges channel partners $2,500 to participate in the program. The distributor pays the Grants Office that amount “and then some” per partner for its services, Laclede said. For deals fulfilled through Ingram, the distributor will rebate up to the twice the program entry fee back to the partner.

“What we want at the end of the day is a purchase order for that solution to come back to Ingram,” Laclede said.

For its stimulus program, Westcon recently held a series of webinars with about 1,000 reseller attendees to help educate them on the ARRA, offering information on federal grants, market intelligence, project leads, white papers and archived webinars. It also opened up new web sites providing information to channel partners on the healthcare market and the public sector.

“Despite the unfavorable macroeconomic conditions resellers face, there are tremendous opportunities they can take advantage of in the public sector right now,” said Ronald Sheps, Westcon manager of vertical markets.

Tech Data tapped Barb Miller, its vice president of government, technical and integration services, to head its Economic Stimulus Watch program. The program, which is free to participating resellers, offers specialists in public sector sales, business development and bids to support channel partners pursuing IT spending opportunities in the government, healthcare and education markets.

The distributor’s program also provides a forum for partners to post questions and comments and communicate with Tech Data’s engineers and other specialists for bid and pricing support. Additional materials such as links to government procurement web sites, white papers, webinars and grant writing advice are offered.

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