Pifat stressed Ingram would not be selling direct to end-users. All leads generated would be forwarded to registered Imrapt resellers. Among the site's features is a password-protected Reseller Community section, allowing partners to submit a company profile. Pifat said the distributor would also allow ISVs with specific vertical market solutions to register.
"Resellers will get the lead for the hardware, but they may not know how to do the software for various retail verticals. Hospitality for example, is very different to a newsagent," she said. "With the portal, they will be able to search for a provider by name or vertical."
Alongside the website, Ingram has created an Imrapt channel program offering leads, exclusive promotions and pricing, demo gear and pricing guarantees. There will also be a dedicated 1300 number and email. Ingram has also devised a reseller certification, based on practical training at GS1's Knowledge Centre.
Resellers can choose to gain globally recognised accreditations using GS1 Learn Web training, which will be available via TechLink. This incorporates five modules ranging from barcode technology to logistics. Alternatively, GS1 offers a full-day certification course.
"There are resellers out there who don't understand things like barcode technology, RFID, supply chain or logistics," she said. "The IT side stops at networking or security, but there are many resellers, like Alphawest, who have customers that they could become more involved with."
Pifat said Ingram would target its existing IT resellers and integrators as well as going after traditional POS players. She claimed there were about 2000 POS resellers operating in Australia.
Ingram signalled its intention to pursue the POS market with its acquisition of US retail distributor, Nimax, in 2004. This was followed by its purchase of SymTech Nordic last June. To emphasise its commitment to the retail space, Ingram has signed up with several industry organisations, including GS1 and the Australian Shopfitters Association. It also plans to work with the Australian Retailers' Association and RFID Association.
It will also run an Imrapt stand at Ingram's ExpoTech roadshow this year, as well as at CeBit.