Distributor Ingram Micro’s recent signing of a global contract with Cisco is set to improve international stock access for local resellers and help them open offices in overseas markets.
The contract means Ingram Micro resellers get access to Cisco products and services with standardised terms and conditions. Cisco customer support will be offered through an Ingram Micro global order desk.
Ingram Micro general manager of business licensing, networking and security solutions Scott Cowen says resellers also get access to a service called Distie to Distie.
“What this means is we can pull Cisco stock from any Ingram entity that buys on the US price list, which is most of the world. We’ve been able to open up accounts with Ingram Micro China, US and Canada. We’re procuring stock out of those countries because they appear to be getting more allocation than New Zealand.”
For example, says Cowen, if there is a popular switch and it’s on allocation because of material shortages, Ingram Micro can prioritise it.
“There is a function within Cisco where we can say `this is urgent, can you put us at the front of the queue?’ It is on a case by case basis because if you’re bringing in a couple of items from China freight charges are going to be higher than normal.”
Cowen says Ingram can work out pricing to meet that customer requirements on a case by case basis.
“We’ve been moving stock into country and that’s a feature of the global contract. Cisco New Zealand still gets recognition for that activity, but if you’re not on a global contract you don’t have that [access]. This is a real benefit to resellers because I can go in and pull stock out of big markets.”
With regard to resellers gaining an international presence, Cowen says it can now assist by contacting Ingram Micro’s overseas branches.
“If resellers are setting up offices in Australia we can communicate to our counterparts over there so they are aware of who the partner is, what their capabilities are and their specialties. We support the local reseller in ensuring they get a new account set up.”
Cowen says the contract gives it access to tender bids because there are request for proposals coming out for parts of Cisco’s technology set. “We were successful [in tendering] for Scientific Atlanta which is a Cisco technology that delivers video. It manages broadcasts out to devices. It’s a very vertical technology but it demonstrates the benefit of having a global contract.”
He says the support model won’t change for local partners. “We’re always looking at what our sister companies are doing as well and what’s been successful. That’s only going to help the resellers because things have been tried and tested.”
Cowen says Ingram Micro New Zealand now engages more with its regional and international counterparts. “If we have concerns those are shared upstream and discussed at a worldwide level. Having a voice at that level is a huge benefit of being part of a global contract.”