Ingram Micro Inc. hopes to begin next year as an aggregator of ASPs, but the company may have trouble finding customers among its clientele of IT managers, industry sources said.
The wholesale technology supplier, in Santa Ana, Calif., will offer hosted software from application service provider partners Exenet Technologies Inc., FutureLink Corp. and Wizmo Inc. The initially targeted customers will be independent resellers of products from Sun Microsystems Inc., Cisco Systems Inc. and Citrix Systems Inc., which will target their own end users but could also use the software internally, Ingram officials said.
New York-based Exenet will supply the infrastructure, bandwidth, directories and database services; FutureLink, of Lake Forest, Calif., will offer its Workforce IQ and Microsoft Corp.s Office and Exchange. Ingram will announce later this month or early next year the software that will come from Wizmo, of Eden Prairie, Minn., which makes virtual desktop software.
"Ive decided that [hosted applications] are too expensive to do on my own," said Arlin Sorensen, president of Sorensens Computer Connection Inc., of Harlan, Iowa. "We see [Ingrams service] as a viable option to take care of upgrades and get rid of headaches."
Most of Ingrams 10,000 eligible resellers have not yet been approached about the new services, officials said.
"They havent got their market and strategy aligned," said Art Williams, an analyst at Giga Information Group Inc., in Cambridge, Mass. "Theres no indication that theyre coming to market knowing who their customers might be or how to get to them."
Another problem Ingram may face, Williams said, is that while its established customers are in-the-trenches technology staff, the ASP sell is best delivered to management higher-ups. "I have a ... dim view of aggregators. Theyre solutions looking for a problem," Williams said.