Ingram Micro updates Digital Channel marketing portal

February 2005
Distributor Ingram Micro is looking to build up its electronic reseller marketing portal by including more vendors and adding to the functionality.

The Digital Channel Solution was launched last January and is a vendor product information portal. It currently carries information on 30 vendors, including Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft. Last week the distributor announced that it has added data mining software vendor Datawatch.

Walter van den Bosch, Digital Channel manager at Ingram, said the philosophy behind Digital Channel is very simple. "The Digital Channel is like the vendor's reception area, but online. End-users can go to the reseller's web site and browse product leaflets, news and company information," he said.

Rob Graham, product manager at Datawatch-Europe, said: "This will lead to a bigger base of resellers for us in Europe. We are committed to the channel and this will be a great asset for them."

Although the service currently doesn't allow end-users to place orders with resellers, Bosch said Ingram plans to add further functionality at a later date.

"It's purely information-driven at the moment, but we do have plans to build a web-shop into it," he said.

However, Bosch hinted that this could see the distributor starting to charge for the service.

The portal appears on 100 of Ingram's resellers' web sites, and allows end-users to search for vendor-specific information, such as product information and press coverage. Ingram hosts the service and provides real-time direct feeds onto each reseller's site, which can be updated by the distributor at any time.

"When we make changes to vendor information those changes are updated without the reseller having to do anything. We also generate web campaigns to help drive traffic to the reseller's site," Bosch said.

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