A lot of new business technology rolled out this past week in Las Vegas, where VMware Partner Exchange and Hewlett-Packard (HP) Global Partner Conference (GPC) dominated the strip and made Sin City the business technology Mecca for an entire week. Many companies and media types had to choose one or the other, but Ingram Micro, the IT distributor, found a way to make announcements at both events.

One the same day that Ingram announced a service providing licensing model with VMware, the IT distributor doubled-down in Vegas by announcing it will begin selling HP's iQuote through the Ingram Micro HP application store.

The HP iQuote is a pre-sales tool that, according to Ingram, will help Ingram Micro and HP partners with their HP system, storage and printer pre-sale products.

In short, the iQuote is a tool to help Ingram and HP channel partners identify the products and business application accessories that best meet the needs of their end-users. It gives MSPs a set of guidelines to use to help identify the right products for the right customers. It can streamline sales cycles and provide more accurate sales data. And according to Ingram Micro U.S. Advanced Computing Division VP and General Manager Scott Zahl, the iQuote will ultimately help close deals quicker, which means reduced sales cost and more time for resellers and managed services providers to develop stronger relationships with their end-user business customers instead of pitching them products.

According to HP, the iQuote tool can be used in broad range of markets, including the healthcare sector. Remember, Ingram Micro created a Healthcare Partner Network in August 2011, so the tool is a welcomed site for Ingram's relatively new healthcare partners. HP also identified the public sector, retail, and SMB market as areas in which the HP iQuote can be particularly useful.

A product like the iQuote seems like a smart tool to offer resellers, who otherwise have to navigate through a tremendous amount of HP products in order to find the ones that best fit their customer's needs. At the end of the day, it is a huge time-saver. We'll see if that time-savings translates into sales growth for both Ingram and HP resellers and MSP partners.

Be sure to stay up on all the other news coming out of the HP GPC, including new international partner program benefits and updates to the HP IT Performance Suite.