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Ingram Micro partner communities primed for 2016

At the Ingram Micro One conference, the distributor officially rebranded the VentureTech Network community and talked up its investments in the SMB Alliance.

At the Ingram Micro One conference in Nashville, Tenn., this week, distributor Ingram Micro Inc. highlighted investments it has made in two of its partner communities to position them for opportunities in 2016.

Investments included rebranding the VentureTech Network, Ingram Micro's elite community of solution-provider partners, as the Trust X Alliance.

Divided into regional chapters, the VentureTech Network/Trust X Alliance group meets four times a year to share ideas, best practices and leads, as well as sensitive information about their businesses. Applicants must meet rigorous verification requirements and criteria, such as geographical market and targeted customers, before they can join, according to the distributor.

One of the Trust X Alliance's initiatives for 2016 is to build vertical market expertise within the community by focusing on healthcare and the public sector. Ingram Micro said it will welcome select members from the Ingram Micro Public Sector Elite and Healthcare Elite into the Trust X group.

In a blog post this week, Jim Veraldi, executive director of advanced solutions and Trust X Alliance executive sponsor at Ingram Micro, said the top benefits of membership in the Ingram Micro partner community are branding, member engagement and exclusivity.

While Trust X Alliance is a relatively new brand in the industry, it will grow in importance over the year, as it gains more and more recognition, Veraldi said. To help build that brand, Ingram Micro has launched a Trust X Alliance website that promotes the expertise of its members and explains the guidelines of the group's vetting process.

Member engagement opportunities include Trust X Alliance events that are slated for 2016 to connect its members with prospects, he added. Other membership benefits include cyber insurance policies, human resources and employee benefits, DiSC personality test administration, leadership training, and vendor-specific benefits -- such as discount pricing or special sales incentives.

Ingram Micro partner group SMB Alliance positioned for 2016

Ingram Micro also said its investments in new leadership, resources and members throughout 2015 have prepared the SMB Alliance community for new opportunities ahead.

The SMB Alliance, an Ingram Micro partner community focused on the small and medium-sized business (SMB) market, represents about 200 channel partners in the U.S., as well as more than 22 vendors that specialize in business IT in the SMB market.

In 2015, Ingram Micro expanded the SMB Alliance's personnel and appointed Darren Gottesmann to lead the group. The distributor also directed the SMB Alliance council to lead subcommittees that focus on opportunities, such as cloud services, professional services and vertical markets, within the SMB segment.

The distributor also made member business reviews available this year; provided access to its subject-matter expertise in popular categories, such as cloud and asset disposition; and added new marketing, sales and business resources on the SMB Alliance website.

Next Steps

Also this week, Cisco plans changes to CCIE certification.

Citrix partners await details on the GoTo spinoff.

Read five tips to improve your channel-vendor relationships.

CompTIA launches Future Leaders, a millennial community group.

$6B Ingram Micro acquisition not expected to disrupt partner operations.

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