Tech Data: We Won’t Emulate Ingram Micro Seismic
Even as Tech Data inks reseller relationships with managed services software providers, the distributor has no plans to emulate rival Ingram Micro’s Seismic master managed services strategy, according to eChannel Line. The Tech Data and Ingram Micro strategies seem as different as night and day. Here’s some perspective.
First, some background:
- Ingram Micro Seismic is a master MSP, offering a range of hosted and customized managed services solutions — from remote monitoring and management to professional services automation to security and NOC (networking operation center) services. Seismic partners can re-brand the services as their own, and Ingram is developing software so that MSPs can manage their Seismic services from a single dashboard.
- Tech Data’s managed services initiative, dubbed Tech Data VARChoice, has mostly involved reselling MSP platforms and remote management tools to VARs — without directly hosting or customizing the offerings for VARs. Tech Data also has partnerships with third-parties (such as USA.net) that host software for VARs.
Apparently, Tech Data has no plans to emulate Ingram Micro’s Seismic investments. Greg Myers, VP of marketing at Tech Data Canada, recently told eChannel Line:
“Ingram Micro has made a significant investment there but we think they are on the wrong track. Partners have told us they are not interested in a packaged program like Seismic. There is little value the distributor can offer there. We don’t see how we can add value to justify the margin.”
When Ingram Micro Seismic VP Justin Crotty spotted Myers’ quote, Crotty offered up this Tweet:
“Greg Meyers of Tech Data on Managed Services: We’re Sitting This One Out”
Nothing like a little friendly competition.
So Who Has the Smarter Strategy?
Tech Data’s assertion that partners have no interest in a Master MSP program like Seismic caught my attention for two reasons.
- Seismic had signed up more than 1,000 managed service providers
- Ingram was adding roughly 30 to 50 VARs to the Seismic program each month
But here’s the difficult part for Crotty and Seismic: Ingram Micro does not publicly break out/disclose Seismic’s financial performance. So it’s impossible for outsiders to determine if the Seismic program is flowing cash to Ingram’s bottom line.
Stay tuned. Over the next few quarters, I suspect Ingram will gradually position itself as a cloud and software as a service (SaaS) accelerator. As part of that effort, I suspect Ingram Micro investor relations will disclose Seismic’s financial performance within quarterly earnings statements.
At that point, we’ll all have a much clearer view about Seismic’s performance, and the potential payoff for Ingram and its partners. And we’ll know if Tech Data was right — or wrong — to skip the Master MSP model.