Ingram Micro Shutters Specialty Division


Ingram Micro is dissolving its North America Specialty Solutions Division, CRN has learned.

The Specialty Solutions Division includes physical security, AVAD, data capture/point-of-sale, mobility and consumer electronics, according to the company's website. The business units will be redistributed among other divisions of the company, including Commercial Markets, Advanced Technologies, Advanced Computing, and Direct and Consumer Markets, an Ingram Micro spokesperson told CRN.

The move is part of a planned shift since the division was launched, according to the spokesperson, who added that the unit was designed to focus on "high-opportunity areas," which would then be integrated once the technology matured.

[Related: Ingram Micro Q3 Sales Increase Behind Strong Mobility Business]

In October, Ingram Micro credited a third-quarter sales increase to investments in mobility solutions, part of the Specialty Solutions Division. Revenue for the quarter was up 12 percent year over year for the third quarter.

Ingram Micro partners will not be affected by the shift, as the technology offerings will be redistributed under different divisions within the company, the spokesperson told CRN.

Harry Zarek, CEO of solution provider and Ingram Micro partner Compugen, said he suspects part of the reason for the move may be the struggle broadline distributors are having trying to grab hold of higher-value product business.

"Maybe Ingram has concluded that there isn’t enough business for them or business opportunity for them," Zarek told CRN.

David DeCamillis, director of business development at Platte River Networks, a longtime Ingram Micro partner, said that the change didn't surprise him because the company overhauls its structure every few years or so.

With the closing of the division comes the departure of longtime Ingram Micro executive Brian Wiser, senior vice president of specialty, direct and consumer markets for North America. He will be departing from Ingram Micro on Jan. 3, 2014, and will not be replaced. Approximately a dozen midlevel management employees also have been laid off and the rest of the employees in the division have been reassigned to other managers, the spokesperson said.

"I can't speak to the decision or how or why, but you hope the best for the individuals that are no longer there," DeCamillis told CRN. "They're going to have to make some dramatic moves here and there in order to keep up and stay ahead, which is what Ingram seems to want to do."

The important thing from a partner perspective, Compugen's Zarek said, is that Ingram Micro continue to provide the same level of services and products.

"From our point of view, as long as they're going to continue to carry the vendor lines that we need and as long as they are continuing to provide the support that we need, there are no issues," Zarek said.

PUBLISHED DEC. 11, 2013