Ingram has also waived fees on its Direct Express program, which supplies supplemental credit to partners funding unusually large deals. Ingram extended that program to Canadian partners last November.
Collectively, all of Ingram’s financing changes are designed to leverage the company’s substantial balance sheet and borrowing power to keep deals rolling despite the sudden revenue drop both channel pros and their customers are currently enduring. “You’ll get paid up front, your cash flow will improve, and in actual fact you’re putting the risk on us and on the credit companies that we use,” Mackle says.
Ingram has spent much of the last eight years expanding and diversifying credit options for partners, he adds. Until now, those efforts have chiefly been intended to help partners “bridge the cash flow trough” as they transition from traditional hardware and software sales to as-a-service business models.
“Lucky for us, we had that in place, because now we’re able to use it for a different need,” Mackle says.
Ingram expects that need to grow more pronounced. Like both economists and government forecasters, however, it doesn’t yet know by how much or for how long.
“If you look at today’s challenging economic climate, we know partners are struggling with being able to make sure they can manage their cash flow,” Mackle says. “The longer this entire crisis lasts, the more they’re going to need to move to a more robust financing model.