Ingram Micro has partnered with social networking vendor, Leverage Software, to create four new US partner sites pulling together its reseller community.
The distributor will rebrand the vendor's CustomerConnect community building tools to The Zone. Each of its four communities will feature detail member profiles which users make contacts lists from, as well as online discussion groups and forums. Ingram also plans to post vendor resources and product updates.
It will also use Leverage's PeopleMap feature, which allows users to find and network with other community members based on their interests, areas of expertise or other attributes. It then organises these results into a 2D map.
The sites are targeted at Ingram's government, education, SMB and large enterprise solution partners.
In a statement, Ingram vice-president of North American channel marketing, Kirk Robinson, said the technology would help it build stronger VAR-to-VAR relationships within its solution provider communities.
Local managing director, Guy Freeland, said it currently didn't offer any partner networking functionality to resellers but said the distributor was always keen to provide more information to resellers. He pointed out the US was well ahead in terms of developing a broader managed services strategy.
"We are thinking about how we can partner with people in the channel to fill that [services] gap," he said. "We're still a way from getting a strong strategy in place."