Ingram Micro Offers New, Expanded Finance Options for U.S., Canada Partners
INGRAM MICRO ONE — Ingram Micro on Tuesday expanded its finance portfolio with a new flexible payment solution, an expanded managed services finance offering, and increased finance capacity for Ingram Micro Direct Express. The announcements were made at the kickoff of Ingram Micro One in Aurora, Colorado.
The distributor also announced promotions for two members of its finance team, Kelly Carter and John Bak. Carter’s new title is chief country financial officer for Canada and Bak was promoted to executive director of financial solutions for Ingram Micro U.S. Both Carter and Bak are Ingram Micro veterans, having worked at the company for 26 years and 22 years, respectively. Prior to their promotions, Carter served as vice president, financial solutions, and Bak as director, credit development.
“For the past several years, we’ve really been focused on how we enable our smaller partners to grow more quickly as well as how we enable the channel to make the shift to services,” Carter told Channel Futures. “We knew that as end-user demand was changing to want to buy a monthly solution, that was going to change the demand our partners would be seeing and what they’d need from us to support them.”
Ingram Micro put a lot of effort into designing enhanced lease solutions — monthly payment solutions that aren’t necessarily leases, such as rental, managed print and several vendor as-a-service model programs. Traditionally, that program was called Ingram Micro Lease-IT! Today, that rebranded program is the new Ingram Micro Flexible Payment Solutions.
“That’s because of all these other offerings that are in there now,” said Carter.
So, for example, we’re talking about customized payment solutions, as-a-service financing, consumption models, annuity financing, and rental and lease options. To help MSPs in the U.S. and Canada, Ingram Micro Managed Services Financing is now available in these regions. Prior to today’s announcement, only select Ingram Micro partners in the U.S. had access to the managed services financing, on a pilot program basis.
“This is the game-changing piece of today’s announcement. We can now finance an actual services contract,” said Carter. “This isn’t really financing in that there’s no separate finance agreement. We’re taking the managed services contract between [the partner] and their customer. We can fund [the partner] upfront on the receivables stream from that contract.”
Partners need to know there’s no contract between Ingram Micro and the end customer, who doesn’t even know of Ingram Micro’s involvement. The partner doesn’t sign a finance agreement; instead, the partner gives Ingram Micro a security interest in the receivables stream.
Ingram Micro pays the partners about 40-50% of the contract, and the distributor collects the monthly payment from the customer, although they’re not necessarily aware of this.
“When you talk to the partners, they have upfront costs associated with those contracts and that creates a cash crunch, so they asked us, ‘How can you help me with this?'” Carter said.
For partners to take advantage of Ingram Micro Managed Services Financing, they must be loyal Ingram Micro customers.
U.S. partners and, in 2020, Canadian partners, will be able to access credit and working capital under the Ingram Micro Direct Express program, which was previously only available to the distributor’s Trust X alliance members and SMB Alliance members. The Ingram Micro Direct Express program has been very popular in the U.S., the company said. It has two levels: One is a more traditional end user lockbox finance program and the other is an enhanced version called Ingram Micro Direct Express Complete, launched three years ago.
Ingram Micro has increased the credit capacity and working capital for partners. This latest enhancement is a more streamlined version of the Micro Direct Express Complete. Partner uptake of Ingram Micro’s financial programs has been on the rise.
“Direct Express grows by leaps and bounds every year. Our focus on our leasing program has been ease-of-doing business for our customers so we make it easy for them to integrate a lease quote into their quoting tool, so it’s right there for them. We can also private-label it in their name,” said Carter.
In other news, Ingram Micro was named an authorized distributor for the federal business of Aruba, an HPE company. Aruba’s portfolio of secure networking and edge technologies are being added to Ingram Micro’s GSA schedule.