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Making the most of federal buying season

August 08, 2018

Making the most of federal buying season

Q&A with an Ingram Micro federal expert

A conversation with Frank Ratel, senior channel account executive, federal, Ingram Micro
Federal buying season is here—are you making the most of it? During a recent conversation with Frank Ratel, senior channel account executive on Ingram Micro’s federal team, we learned how reseller partners can take full advantage of this busy year-end rush and optimize every opportunity.

What does federal buying season mean for today’s reseller partners?

It’s an intense time of business—a flurry of opportunities closing and many task orders being filled. Every year, the government’s fiscal year begins on Oct. 1 and ends of Sept. 30. At the beginning of the fiscal year, each agency gets a “bucket” of money, and they have to spend it all before the end of the fiscal year or else they lose the unspent difference the next fiscal year. It’s a frenzy to get those dollars spent—but it’s a great time for our federal resellers who are collecting those orders.

At Ingram Micro, 75% of our federal business happens in the second half of the year. And the federal contracts being served are huge. Last year, for example, the NASA SEWP V contract had more than a billion dollars roll through it during the month of September alone.

How can solution providers make the most of every opportunity?

Most federal resellers already know to do certain critical things—like check their contract portals every day for new task orders and to respond super quickly to inquiries. But I would also encourage them to go above and beyond by staying in close communication with their OEM manufacturer partners and Ingram Micro and take advantage of extended business hours.

Why are extended business hours important?

Government procurement happens all the time—not just during standard business hours. This is especially true during the busy federal buying season. Therefore, it’s smart for federal resellers to extend their business hours to make themselves more available and to capture as many federal opportunities as they can. 

To help partners get through the year-end push, Ingram Micro also offers extended hours for our public sector sales and technical support teams through the end of September. Our public sector sales team’s extended hours of operation are as follows:

  • 3–21, 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. (ET)
  • 19 (Saturday), 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (ET)
  • 24–28, 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. (ET)
  • 29-30, 10 a.m. to 12 a.m (ET)

How can resellers access the federal team after hours?

For federal coverage after 6 p.m. (ET), dial (800) 456-8000, your public sector sales representative’s extension and then “0” and “1” for the first available teammate. If you don’t fall within this division, please contact your inside sales representative for their extended hours.

How else can Ingram Micro help? What specific resources are available?

Federal resellers can also benefit from Ingram Micro’s creative financial solutions, which can help close larger opportunities. If resellers aren’t already familiar with what we offer, I would encourage them to connect with us at financialsolutions@ingrammicro.com.

In addition, Ingram Micro has about 250 market development specialists that offer dedicated support for specific OEM manufacturers, plus another 70+ sales associates on the public sector team—a total of 320 associates who work together and are dedicated to driving this business. By leveraging these teams’ expertise during federal buying season, resellers can make sure they tap into any special programs or promotions to ensure the very best pricing for the federal government—and delivering proposals quickly for the best chance of winning the opportunity.

If resellers need pre-sales technical support, we also have more than 250 specialists that work closely with partners to define the technical solutions. This is a critical value-add for Ingram Micro—something many other channel organizations don’t have—so I would encourage all reseller partners to rely on this team’s knowledge.

How can resellers facilitate government business without a contract vehicle?

Ingram Micro can help with this, too. Public sector resellers can leverage our GSA Schedule 70, which is managed by Promark Technologies, to access solutions from 40 different manufacturers, including Cisco, Dell, EMC, HP, VMware and many other tier-one partners. GSA is the largest federal government contract, so having access to our GSA Schedule 70 is a great way for resellers to grow their business.

For more details on how Ingram Micro supports federal business, check out the Federal Playbook.