From The Editor | August 13, 2010

Healthcare IT Continues Monumental Growth

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By Gennifer Biggs, security, storage, and managed services editor

After launching its healthcare initiative in cooperation with electronic healthcare records (EHR)vendor NextGen in February, distributor Ingram Micro was ready to talk about the future of healthcare IT during CompTIA Breakaway.

During the event, which included a Healthcare IT track , I sat down with Bob Laclede, VP of Business Development for Ingram Micro; Brian Wiser, SVP of Sales and Marketing for Ingram Micro; and Anthony Landauer, AVP of Channel for NextGen, to talk about where the Ingram Micro program was headed in the last half of 2010. "We really spent a lot of time so far educating the channel," explain Laclede. "Healthcare IT is a complex solution, it is actually more than one solution, and so we've been diligent in making sure the channel understands that complexity, and that these solutions include security, compliance, content management, customization, and more." Wiser reiterated that it was that complex combination of layers within healthcare IT solutions that led Ingram Micro to thoroughly research the EHR vendor landscape before partnering with NextGen. "We understood that we needed the right partner and the right channel partners for this to be successful," says Wiser.

Ingram's team says for the last few months — and the next few months — the focus has been on training, enablement, and education of the VAR and MSP channel, and now the distributor expects to start marrying well-fitting channel partners to potential opportunities. "Stimulus funding is pushing this forward, as is converging technology," says Laclede, referencing federal government funding for EHR solutions purchased by physicians that handle Medicare and Medicaid patients. Ingram Micro also expects to start developing "soft bundles" of healthcare IT solutions, such as groupings that pair NextGen's solution with easily integrated options such as unified communications, managed print, and bar code printers.

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