Ingram, Comdisco launch leasing deal

Bowing to customer demand and a market trend, Ingram Micro Inc. and Comdisco Inc. last week announced a new leasing option for government resellers as an extension of Ingram Micro's Partnership America program.

The new leasing program, Partnership America Leasing Solutions, expands Ingram Micro's role as a major distributor of technology products and services to value-added resellers and systems integrators in the government market. It teams Ingram Micro's technology offerings with Comdisco's financial services expertise to offer customized leasing packages to resellers in the federal market.

The partnership was designed to provide resellers and buyers with more options to finance large and small procurements at a time when leasing is more popular than ever.

"A lot of our [reseller] customers are presenting opportunities from federal government agencies that are looking for leasing," said Pam Smith, director of strategic marketing for government and education at Ingram Micro, Santa Ana, Calif.

William Stuckert, vice president of Comdisco's government marketing group, Rosemont, Ill., said the two companies have been discussing the arrangement for about a year, after noting that the federal government's interest in leasing was increasing.

In the past, resellers have gone separately to Comdisco for the financing of a leasing package while looking to Ingram Micro for the technology. The process was extremely complex and time-consuming.

"The problem before was that they were obviously totally separate companies, and they are performing very different functions," said Gary Sorkin, president of Rockville, Md.-based ComTeq Federal, which has worked with both companies in the past. "It was cumbersome from a communication and coordination perspective.

"The single point of contact would facilitate a much better outcome for the government, for us, Comdisco and the suppliers," Sorkin said. "This just enhances a strong offering."

Tony Montemurro, senior manager of leasing services at Ingram Micro, said the leasing opportunities cover "any technology solution that Ingram Micro offers through our resellers, including financing for software and services." He said the leasing options, including the extent of the lease, are completely customizable and include upgrades of equipment while it is still under lease. An agency that discovers it needs a higher-speed processor or a new CD-ROM drive can add to its current systems, swap older components for new ones or do some of both throughout their network, he said.

"We can meet any of their needs," Montemurro said. "Ingram is looking at this...as a comprehensive offering to the government. It's really a value-added service to our resellers so they can provide that to their customers."

Since Ingram announced the partnership last week, six resellers expressed interest in the program in the first three days, Montemurro said.

Comdisco officials sounded equally enthusiastic about the program's potential.

"Its a great teaming arrangement for Comdisco," Stuckert said. "We think we're pretty good, but we know we can't do it all."

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