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Ingram Micro Launches VentureTech Network(TM) for Small-Medium Business Market

Reseller Program Demonstrates Ingram Micro's Commitment to the SMB Market

NEW ORLEANS, Jan. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 130 charter members and strategic channel partners are gathering in New Orleans today where Ingram Micro Inc. (NYSE:IM) , the world's leading wholesale distributor of technology products and services, is premiering VentureTech Network(TM), a national network of technology resellers designed to service the small- to midsize business (SMB) market.

Sponsored by 3COM Corporation, Compaq Computer Corporation, Hewlett- Packard Company, IBM Corporation, Intel Corporation and Microsoft Corporation, VentureTech Network is a membership-based alliance of value added resellers (VARs), computer retailers and technology dealers. Members offer industry- leading information technology (IT) brands, certified high-technology expertise, and value-added services suited for small to midsize businesses. The network is administered by Ingram Micro and is backed by the company's product breadth, unparalleled delivery capability, and relationships with key manufacturers.

Charter members are meeting Jan. 9-10 in New Orleans for the VentureTech Network kick-off to learn how to make the most of the SMB market. During the conference, members will learn about small to midsize business strategies from sponsoring manufacturers and Ingram Micro. They will also learn about special financing options and marketing programs that Ingram Micro has designed to meet their distinct needs.

According to Doug Antone, president, Ingram Alliance, senior vice president, Ingram Micro Inc., "The small to midsize-business market is one of Ingram Micro's strategic pillars. Historically, our company's success has been predicated on servicing small VARs. Today we continue to make the investment and commitment to the SMB reseller, as evidenced by this new company-wide effort to optimize support to our SMB customers."

Said Rick Sbrocca, Ingram Micro's general manager of VentureTech Network, "Working together with our strategic manufacturer partners, Ingram Micro is setting a new standard for channel unity to deliver SMB VAR support. As a VentureTech Network member, resellers automatically get specialized attention from premier manufacturers and Ingram Micro because we are committed to helping them succeed. We're delivering a measurable program to help our members increase their revenue and customer satisfaction in the small- to midsize market."

VentureTech Network members like Steve Harper, president of Connecting Point Network Management Group, Hutchinson, KS, appreciate the attention and investment Ingram Micro is making in their business. "Being a VentureTech Network member means that we can offer our customers the best of both worlds. They get one-on-one attention and friendly customer service from Connecting Point, and we provide them access to Ingram Micro's more than 145,000 products, timely delivery, services and support, custom configuration, channel assembly, technical support and product availability."

"I appreciate Ingram Micro's deep commitment to the SMB market as demonstrated by the extensive resources in this program," he said. Added Sbrocca, "The majority of VentureTech Network members are small business owners and entrepreneurs themselves. It makes sense that these members can help smaller businesses be successful -- after all, they understand the unique needs of the SMB customer."

VentureTech Network Membership

VentureTech Network currently has 130 members. Additional resellers can join, but membership is limited. Members are required to possess a minimum of two certifications and three vendor authorizations, with more than 50 percent of their business revenue from SMB. They also pay a quarterly membership fee.

  The average VentureTech Network member has:
  -- Been in business for 11 years
  -- Is locally owned and operated
  -- A networking focus
  -- Seventy percent of its business revenue in SMB
  -- Technical expertise
  -- A majority of local customers

To apply or to learn more about VentureTech Network, resellers should call Vincent Stemen, VentureTech Network recruiter at 1 (800) 609-6096, ext. 25980 or (714) 566-1000, ext. 25980.

  VentureTech Network Reseller Benefits
  VentureTech Network members receive the following benefits and tools:

  -- Assigned territories -- To maximize presence in geographic areas,
     members are assigned territories with minimal overlap.  Territories are
     assigned and monitored by Ingram Micro.
  -- Support from sponsoring manufacturers -- Closed vendor leads, training
     discounts and quarterly promotions from 3COM, Compaq, HP, IBM, Intel
     and Microsoft.
  -- Dedicated field sales representatives -- VentureTech Network members
     have dedicated field sales representation on an individual basis.
  -- Customized credit options from Ingram Micro -- Preferential
     consideration for credit line increases and emergency credit lines;
     free flooring; financing for inventory purchases; accounts receivable
     financing; purchase order financing; and automatic approvals on Fortune
     1000 businesses, government and school districts.
  -- Life cycle services -- Customized suite of SMB life cycle services to
     include needs analysis, network design and support, leasing packages
     and extended warranty options.
  -- Dedicated Web-based community -- to provide
     critical information, news, applications, vendor SMB strategy materials
     and communication tools, such as chat, bulletin boards and instant
  -- Marketing tools -- VentureTech Network logo and medallion; sales kit;
     proposal folders and stationery; news release and pitch letter
     templates; end-user brochures and newsletters; reprints of
     advertisements; seminars on selling into the SMB market; and direct
  -- National Service Network (NSN) -- Free membership in this Ingram Micro-
     administered alliance of more than 350 service resellers in the U.S.,
     Puerto Rico and Guam.
  -- Premier VAR Plus -- Membership in this Ingram Micro VAR program and
     special discounts on vendor training; and access to the following:
     business and health insurance; car rentals; access to third-party
     professional legal services; Sprint and MCI long distance telephone
     service; First USA credit card; and On-Site Information Systems, an
     enhanced fax and telecommunication service.
  -- Financial & Accounting Managers Association (FAMA) -- Exclusive
     membership; profit surveys; measurement and comparisons; electronic
     tool kit with analytical programs; and compensations reports.
  -- Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) -- Free membership;
     membership directory; access to public policy trends and events; and
     discounts on conferences, studies, and certifications; -- all through
     VentureTech Network.
  -- VentureTech Network Invitationals -- Provide the opportunity for
     members to communicate on strategic business issues, such as sales,
     marketing, professional services, and business management.  Events are
     held twice annually in three cities and last 2 1/2 days.  Members can
     attend two events per year.

  Formerly Business Technology Center (BTC)

VentureTech Network is an expanded and improved program over its predecessor, Business Technology Center (BTC), which Ingram Micro acquired as part of its 1997 acquisition of Intelligent Electronics' Reseller Network Division (RND).

About Ingram Micro Inc.

Ingram Micro Inc., headquartered in Santa Ana, Calif., is the world's leading wholesale distributor of technology products and services, and a leading provider of assembly services, with 1996 sales of $12 billion. The company and its affiliates operate in 32 countries and distribute more than 145,000 products to more than 100,000 resellers in 120 countries. Ingram Micro can be found at

3Com Corporation

"As a leader in networking and Internet solutions designed for small and medium businesses, 3Com is committed to working closely with resellers who target this exploding market," said Chuck Yort, director of Small Business Operations for 3Com. "3Com collaborates with Ingram Micro via the VentureTech Network to better serve these resellers and offer the types of services, programs and options they need to expand their customer base and increase revenue."


"We recognize that the small and medium business market and the VARs that service it represent a significant business opportunity that has traditionally been under-served by this industry," said Ken Kurtzman, Vice President for Compaq's Small and Medium Business Division. "We enthusiastically support Ingram Micro's VentureTech Network initiative, which compliments Compaq's own SMB initiatives. Together, our channel partners' SMB initiatives along with our own will bring forth a complete offering of Compaq products, services, programs, and partnerships designed to help resellers provide more value and better service the needs of small and medium customers nationwide."


"The formation of the VentureTech Network signifies Ingram Micro's commitment to the Small/Medium business market and complements Hewlett- Packard's long-standing initiatives in this key segment," said Kim Tchang, Hewlett-Packard's director of sales and marketing for Small/Medium Business. "The combination of Ingram Micro's creative VentureTech Network with flexible value-added benefits to resellers and Hewlett-Packard's focused SMB products and programs, such as the Spotlight Program for Resellers is a win/win for the channel and the end-user customer."


"IBM is extremely pleased to sponsor Ingram Micro's VentureTech Network for SMB resellers. The value in this program comes in the benefits VentureTech resellers receive from Ingram Micro, including special benefits from IBM. We are implementing aggressive outreach to help members with training and marketing. We look forward to helping resellers grow their sales, as well as increasing IBM's penetration into this market," said Dave Boucher, vice president, channels for IBM.


"Intel has a strong interest and commitment to small business. Ingram Micro's VentureTech Network initiative is a sound program because it addresses the needs of small businesses through a network of highly-trained and focused resellers," said Jami Dover, Vice President and Director of Co-op Marketing Programs at Intel Corporation. "Intel will support the transition to Pentium(R) II processor-based systems and Fast Ethernet solutions by delivering information, tools and programs to small-business resellers," added Dover.

Microsoft Corporation

"Microsoft is excited about Ingram Micro's VentureTech Network strategy and its potential impact on resellers whose focus is small and medium customers. In partnership with Ingram Micro, we look forward to helping these resellers deliver compelling solutions based on Microsoft products and technologies," said Paul Bazley, General Manager -- Small Business Marketing and Value-Added Provider (VAP) programs for Microsoft.

Ziff-Davis Market Intelligence Group "There are a number of key drivers in the small to midsize market today that VentureTech Network will help resellers address. Such drivers include the growth of intranets and the Internet which is already in 35 percent of small to midsize companies; the explosion of electronic commerce already in 10 percent of these businesses; and an increase in back-office purchases exceeding 20 percent," said Bob Brown, president, Ziff-Davis Market Intelligence Group. "By forming VentureTech Network, Ingram Micro is helping its resellers capitalize on these SMB opportunities. Ingram Micro is the market leader not only product breadth, but also in product availability, delivery, financing and services. These core competencies are especially valuable to SMB resellers because they align exactly with the market requirements in the coming years."

Source: Ingram Micro Inc.

Contact: Cindy Ragland of Ingram Micro Inc., 714-566-1000, ext. 23364,
or email:


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