Ingram Micro President: Expect More Investment In Emerging Technology Opportunities


Ingram Micro North American President Paul Bay Wednesday told CRN the distributor is making further investments to more aggressively drive new emerging solutions deeper into its partner base.

Bay said that Ingram Micro is stepping up investments across the company to help partners grow business in new technologies, verticals and customer opportunities.

"We are going to continue to make investments in the business in the opportunities that our solution providers are looking for and the challenges they are having in the marketplace," Bay told CRN.

[Related: Ingram Micro Shutters Specialty Division]

Bay's comments came after the $40 billion distributor moved its Specialty Solution Division into its core business groups. That move resulted in the layoff of 11 employees and a shift of an undisclosed number of other employees into its main business groups. Out of the 11 executives laid off, only six had contact with partners, Ingram Micro said. The shift will pave the way to a more aggressive focus on pushing forward emerging technologies throughout the company, he said. In fact, he said the change will push fast growing opportunities closer to partners than ever before, Bay said.

"We are not taking away partner-facing resources. We are actually making further investments," Bay said.

The Specialty Solutions Division includes physical security, AVAD, data capture/point-of-sale, mobility and consumer electronics. However, these technologies will still be developed through the core business of the company.

"We'll still talk about specialty-type businesses. There just won't be a specialty division anymore," Bay said. "We have incubated specialty-type businesses, technologies, customer sets within the core over the last three years already, so this is no different than what we have done."

Among the executives affected by the move were Senior Vice President of Specialty, Direct and Consumer Markets for North America Brian Wiser, Canada Vice President of Vendor Management Tim Billing, Senior Director of Cloud Technology Solutions Paul Hoffmann, Executive Director for Microsoft from Commercial Markets Division Jodi Honore, Executive Director for Cisco Business Units from the Advanced Technology Division Peter Gambino and Director of Specialty Division Physical Security Tom Burns. Also let go were two unnamed marketing executives, another member of the Specialty Solutions Division and two members of the Partner Shared Services.

As an example of how the company is using the move to push forward emerging technologies, Bay said Hoffman's departure at the end of the first quarter will signal the company's full turn toward Ingram Micro's acquisition of cloud service provider SoftCom. Ingram Micro acquired Toronto-based SoftCom in September for an undisclosed amount.

"I want to make sure the message is that we've done this already. We're going to continue to make investments in the business, the opportunities that our solution providers are looking for and the challenges they have in the market," Bay said.

Among the areas slated for further investment, he said, are: high-performance computing, pro audio visual solutions, digital signage, SMB business intelligence solutions and advanced technologies. Bay said Ingram Micro has also made big investments to add more talent alongside elite technical certifications to help partners sell complete solutions in the specialty areas.

"We have seen that benefit partners based upon the success we have had," Bay said.

Solution providers, in fact, should "stay tuned" for further investments in health care, said Bay.

PUBLISHED DEC. 11, 2013