Pieces coming together for “aggressive” Ingram

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Acquisitions and diverse offering will make Ingram one-stop-shop for telecoms industry

Ingram Micro says its recent spree of acquisitions has given it the strength to become a one-stop-shop for the telecoms industry – and one capable of helping any business grow if given the chance.

The world’s biggest distributor, with revenues of $47 billion and more than 250,000 customers, has made more than 22 acquisitions in the past decade, including 10 in the past two years.

According to Ingram Micro UK VP and country chief executive Brent McCarty (pictured), the acquisitions have elevated the firm beyond traditional distribution, with services and solutions (notably those around the cloud) and the lifecycle of a device (repair and insurance, for example) playing a key part of its future strategy.

Evolving market
“I’ve been in technology for more than 25 years and I don’t think I’ve ever seen the market change as much as it is now,” said McCarty who was speaking to Mobile News during Ingram’s annual conference in Milton Keynes earlier this month.

“Our distribution business is what we are best known for globally. We do it very well and we are number one. But the world and technology is evolving. Our business is going through a lot of changes, but with those changes come some great opportunities. We are only as successful as our customers and we want them to embrace and leverage Ingram Micro for the different capabilities we are able to offer beyond just price and availability.”

Much of these capabilities come from the recent £80 million acquisition of handset repair firm ANOVO and the creation of its Cloud Marketplace, which went live in May.

The Marketplace, which has 500 users, provides dealers with a global platform offering a menu of cloud services from numerous providers, including Microsoft, from in a single location. Multiple services can be purchased and added to accounts, with a single bill being generated each month.

Cloud opportunities
Cloud services are expected to generate revenues of more than £3.4 billion this year, with the market rising above £14 billion by 2017. McCarty said it was important customers seize the opportunities now – with Ingram better equipped than any to help customers enter the space or boost their credentials within it.

“Cloud is evolving at a global basis and has created some enormous opportunities,” said McCarty.

“We have built a system designed to help make the process of procurement easier to manage and understand. When it comes to cloud, we are out in front. We’ve rolled out on a global basis and now it’s about getting customers on board and utilising it. We see resellers that have grasped it and are absolutely flying and at the same time we see those struggling to make the migration knowing they need to. We have made the investments in enabling our customers but also bringing the education to the market place.”

Aggressive strategy
Part of this strategy to drive awareness and ultimately sales has seen a major restructure to its UK operation – most notably the closure of its mobility office in Verwood near Bournemouth.

The team, which was cut from around 30 to 11, has been absorbed into the firm’s UK head office in Milton Keynes. The move is designed to bring mobile, cloud and the IT teams together for the first time – boosting cross sale opportunities helping to better educate the channel on what it has to offer. However, McCarty revealed numbers have now been increased by a further 30, with overall UK numbers topping 1,700.

“We are investing. There’s been some changes at the company and it’s now about getting the entire organisation familiar with everybody’s capabilities.

“We know what part of the market we want to go after and that means adding people that can go and target, serve and understand it. We have the business intelligence to really understand where those customers reside, but you
need the people who can engage those customers.”

McCarty added that while Ingram will continue to support those that want to use the business for box sales and will “bend over backwards” to help them expand their business portfolios, while saving costs and boosting revenues.

Co-founder of B2B service provider LAN2LAN Pankaj Vekria claimed its revenues have doubled to more than £10 million since working with Ingram Micro beyond traditional distribution services – a figure it expects to increase to £13 million next year.

“There really are massive margin opportunities to be had which need to be capitalised on,” said McCarty. “In the UK, I don’t believe distribution has been leveraged nearly enough by the channel and one of the points of this event is that they will all go away and think differently about distribution. Our message is, if you see there’s an opportunity or want to scale your capabilities and do it in a way that keeps your cost model down, then give our team a call. I can guarantee you we will bend over backwards to make that happen.”

For full report, please see issue 600 of Mobile News (October 26).

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