Ingram Micro Canada gets creative with financing

Kelly Carter, CFO of Ingram Micro Candaa

AURORA, COLORADO — Over the last few years, Ingram Micro has expanded the kind of offerings its financing division brings to market, looking to help solution providers deal with a more “as a service” selling motion. 

Anthony Mackle, the distributor’s CFO for the U.S. and Latin America, has publicly led the charge, and ha made it his mantra that solution providers should never have to say no to a deal based on financing. 

But many of those offerings haven’t been available to the company’s Canadian partners until now. The distributor has announced that Kelly Carter, the executive who’s led the development of these new financing programs in the U.S., has been appointed as new CFO in Canada. And her first goal is making sure Canadian partners get access to the same kind of financing offerings the distributor offers Stateside.

“There’s been a huge shift in the market towards as-a-service, and we’ve been seeing how that impacts our partners,” Carter said. “Vendors are doing things differently, and our partners need new solutions. It’s been a huge focus for us in the U.S., and we’re bringing that to Canada in my new role.”

The company has announced a new Flexible Payment Solutions family, which includes as-a-service financing, consumption-based pricing, annuity financing and lease. Carter said that in Canada, the distributor has traditionally “been more reactive” when it comes to leasing, but that’s changing with the rollout of this program, the expansion of Ingram’s former Lease-IT program.

“We want to do this as quickly as we can in Canada,” Carter said.

The distributor also announced what it calls Direct Express financing.  Direct Express is an end-user financing program that gives smaller solution providers access to big deals by offering credit based on the end user’s profile, not the partner’s. The program was built for members of the distributor’s Trust-X and SMB Alliance communities.

“It gives the partner unlimited credit based on the end-user,” Carter said.

Direct Express is expanding in the U.S. and will is slated to be  launched in Canada in “early 2020.”

The distributor is also bringing its Managed Services Financing, which has been available in the States over the last three years, to Canada. Under that program, Ingram offers up-front payment for managed services contracts to ease cash flow for solution providers, either getting into managed services or scaling their managed services offerings.

Carter said the program is designed to help partners deal with “the first 18 months” of a big managed services contract, a time where MSPs can be underwater based on the investments required to build out, staff, and scale a new managed service or a new customer.

Under MSF, an MSP gets around 40 to 50 percent of the contract value upfront, reducing the cash flow risk in spinning up those services. For a deal under MSF, Ingram takes payment from the customer, and “pays itself back” about half of that payment, with the remainder going back to the solution provider. 

As the program covers services predominantly, it’s not directly tied to an MSP’s revenues with the distributor, though Carter said there is an expectation that partners will have “a certain level of business” with Ingram.

“It helps MSPs scale that business,” Carter said. “It helps address the up-front costs of a contract — hiring staff and establishing services.”

Carter said that the distributor is taking a much more Americas-wide view of the financing business, and said she’ll be working with Mackle, her counterpart in the U.S. and Latin America. At the same time, she stressed that while the team will focus on streamlining offerings across the region, there remain opportunities for offerings unique to or customized for the Canadian market, such as bringing in different local financing partners. 

As Carter moves into hew new role, former Ingram Micro Canada CFO Adeel Athar is transitioning to a position as vice president of financing for the distributor’s commerce and lifecycle services division, a role that will see him relocate to the distributor’s global headquarters in Irvine, California.

Robert Dutt

Robert Dutt is the founder and head blogger at ChannelBuzz.ca. He has been covering the Canadian solution provider channel community for a variety of publications and Web sites since 1997. 

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