Ingram Micro has announced an expanded distribution agreement with file sharing and collaboration outfit Dropbox.
The move will see it extending availability to channel partners across Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.
The scheme has been operating over the pond in the US and Canada. Ingram Micro said that the expanded agreement will make it the ‘premier distributor’ of Dropbox in the new regions.
Renee Bergeron, vice president, Global Cloud, Ingram Micro said that Dropbox is one of the most widely adopted collaboration platforms on the market, with unique business-focused capabilities that we expect will deliver significant value to our cloud portfolio and global partner community.
“Dropbox and Ingram Micro’s strengthened relationship reaffirms our joint commitment to meet the growing demands of channel partners and their customers for secure and controlled file sharing and collaboration environments. Through this expanded agreement, we will leverage our combined technical capabilities and expertise to build a value-added solution for strategic customer segments and vertical markets.”
Dropbox has been pushing into the enterprise market lately and Ingram Micro says that its channel partners will have greater cross-sell opportunities by attaching Dropbox to Microsoft Office 365 via Ingram Micro’s productivity suite.
A Chinese outfit has written a cheque for Ingram Micro for $6 billion.
Chinese aviation and shipping conglomerate HNA Group will buy the outfit so that it will become a subsidiary of Tianjin Tianha. Its HQ will remain where it is along with the firm’s executive management team will stay in place, with Alain Monié continuing as chief executive.
All Ingram Micro lines of business and all regional and country operations are “expected to continue unaffected”.
Adam Tan, CEO of HNA Group, stated: “Ingram Micro has clearly established itself as a leading distributor and global provider of IT products and services. The company has a proven and talented team and we believe Ingram Micro is unrivalled in its ability to offer industry-leading, differentiated and easy-to-manage solutions to vendor and customer partners worldwide. We look forward to supporting Ingram Micro’s management team and strategies, including continued expansion into new geographies, while also offering their vendor and customer partners access to new and complementary offerings.
Tan said that Ingram Micro would become the largest member enterprise of HNA Group in terms of revenue, and facilitate the internationalisation process of the group. With the help of Ingram Micro, HNA Group would have access to business opportunities in emerging markets, which have higher growth rates and better profitability. Furthermore, the addition of Ingram Micro would help the logistics sector of HNA Group transform from a logistics operator to a supply chain operator, and provide one-stop services while improving efficiencies.
Ingram Micro and cloud provider Outsourcery have conjured up a new cloud service designed specifically for Ingram Micro’s partners and customers.
Under the arrangement, Ingram Micro partners will sell Outsourcery’s hosted version of Microsoft Lync, with enterprise-grade services and unified functionality delivered from the cloud. Cloud computing is a relatively hot trend at the moment, but surveys reveal that almost a quarter of IT organisations are concerned about the lack of staff skills necessary to support cloud solutions. The partnership is supposed to address these concerns.
Apay Obang-Oyway, General Manager, Enterprise Software and Services at Ingram Micro commented: “We have created the Advanced Solutions Division to offer our channel partners a comprehensive approach for identifying and pursuing opportunities within advanced technology categories.
Obang-Oyway said the goal is to help partners grow and diversify while facilitating development in the channel.
“The successful model Outsourcery have already established complements these objectives so taking hosted cloud solutions to market together was the natural next step,” he concluded.
Ingram Micro has rolled out a new app designed to help Kiwi resellers respond more quickly to customer needs, while at the same time making their lives just a bit easier. The app is available for iOS and Android devices, no word on WP8 or BB10 support just yet.
The apps allow resellers to access Ingram’s e-commerce offering on the go, order products and track shipments in real time, browse products, compare prices and check availability. The app also features a few clever tricks borrowed from consumerish shopping apps. For example, users can scan a bar code using a smartphone camera and the app will check the product details and Ingram Micro’s stock information, reports Reseller NZ.
The apps can also be used to impress customers, by displaying the offer on mobile devices without revealing dealer pricing, which sounds a lot more convenient than doing it on a notebook.
Ingram Micro says it will continue to upgrade the app over the coming months, but so far feedback has been largely positive. Now all they have to do is roll out similar apps tailored for other regional or national markets.
Ingram Micro Mobility is looking into the possibility of launching its own MVNO, which could help it fuel further mobile growth in the UK. Ingram Micro’s UK and Ireland VP James Bannister told Mobile News that the company is actively looking for new ways to boost mobile revenue.
Bannister said the company would not try to become an established airtime distributor, but it would explore other airtime options, such as SIM packing and shipping phones with SIMs.
“We may launch an MVNO, but we will do it differently to our competitors, so watch this space is my message,” he said.
Bannister said he doesn’t see the assisted sales model as a big opportunity, as it assumes people can’t get access to the product, but that approach doesn’t work since most IT customers already have someone to take care of that.
He added that Ingram’s acquisition of BrightPoint was very positive for the company, as it brings a strong balance sheet and a long-term commitment to make the UK business into “something sexy”.
Earlier this month Ingram Micro announced plans to reshuffle its global management team. The changes are set to go into effect in August and they will see Gerhard Schulz promoted to senior executive vice president and president, Europe.
Schulz currently serves as senior vice president, central and eastern Europe and on Wednesday the company announced that he will be succeeded by Marcus Adae, the current sales chief of Ingram Germany.
Adae will head Ingram Micro’s DACHH region, which includes Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Hungary. He will report directly to Shulz.
In a deal which is aimed at expanding the availability for Pro AV, Commercial Connectivity gear, C2G has partnered with Ingram Micro UK.
C2G peddles high performance cabling and connectivity gear and the partnership is signed with Ingram Micro’s Pro AV Division in the UK.
Jamie Pratt, Managing Director for C2G said the company wants to reach out to the distribution channel’s customer base and give them access to benefits and offers on an extensive portfolio of cabling and connectivity products.
As part of the agreement, C2G will become the preferred cable and connectivity partner for Ingram Micro UK’s new venture into the Pro AV space.
Ingram Micro UK customers can access C2G’s full range through an online stock-checking, ordering, and management system. A targeted selection of C2G products will be stocked and available at Ingram Micro for those resellers who focus on professional audio/video applications and installations.
Pratt said that the deal will give C2G access to a growing number of resellers that are a part of the Ingram Micro community.
C2G launched its European operations in August 2008. Working through value-added distribution partnership with Ingram Micro, it has an extensive community of networking and audio-visual specialist partners in the UK and Europe.
Ingram Micro is reshuffling its executive leadership team and the changes will affect most markets and all continents. The changes will go into effect 1 August, apart from changes in Latin America, beginning in January 2014.
Ingram Micro CEO Alain Monie said the changes are designed to “take full advantage of the diverse and complementary experience, tenure and skill sets” of the company’s senior execs.
Ingram Micro has had gained another client Down Under, signing on the dotted line with communications company Jabra.
As part of the partnership Ingram Micro will be responsible for distributing the company’s range of call centre and office products within the Australian and New Zealand market.
This includes the recently launched Jabra Motion, which is designed to suit mobile workers with an everyday need for audio conferencing or hands-free calls, in the car or at home using smart devices.
Jabra says that Asia-Pacific is one of its fastest growing markets for unified communications products. It said it was critical for it to establish strong relationships with distributors across A/NZ that could add significant value to its proposition.
The company believes that its collaboration with Ingram Micro will also be beneficial in reaching a larger reseller database and in particular Cisco channels.
The company has also extended its support to its partner network with a launch of the Jabra Business Tool, an iPad sales app, which provides information on Jabra’s business services.
Ingram Micro has rung up another deal in the mobile market.
The distie’s Mobility arm has announced that it will carry and sell Samsung Mobile smartphone and tablet accessory products in the States, which it claims will continue its strategy to become a firm player in the mobile market.
The company will offer Samsung Mobile’s accessory portfolio for the Galaxy S, Galaxy Note and Galaxy Tab family of products. This includes traditional mobile accessories such as flip covers, protective covers, travel and vehicle chargers, portable battery packs and Bluetooth headsets.
Bashar Nejdawi, president, Ingram Micro Mobility North America said mobility was one of the disties “key platforms for growth and expanded profitability.”
The accessories will be available through Ingram Micro Mobility’s network of small-to-medium businesses, business-to-business and enterprise channels, as well as consumer and retail-focused indirect carrier dealer agents.
In addition, Ingram Micro Mobility has said it will initiate marketing efforts including sales rep training and product education as well as direct marketing initiatives to the VAR and indirect dealer channels, to further drive sales through Samsung authorised resellers.
Ingram Micro has opened its doors to 350 channel partners from across the globe.
The distie has hosted what it claimed is its first International Solutions Partner Invitational in Hollywood.
The event, which began on 8 May and runs until today saw partners fly in from North America and Latin America, as well as Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa.
It is sponsored by 15 technology vendors including Signature Sponsors Motorola Solutions and Psion, now part of Motorola Solutions, and Platinum Sponsors Axis Communications, Elo Touch Solutions and Intermec.
Themed “Mix it Up,” the Invitational is claimed to try and inspire the 600-plus vendor and reseller partners in attendance to think about business differently in 2013, and seek out new markets and service opportunities that will help them grow faster and more profitably.
The event is also claimed to offer channel partners insight around industry best practices and market trends including where the markets are heading and what channel partners need to do to better position their business for success now, and in the future.
Throughout the event, attendees will hear from speakers including Scott Deming, a customer service and emotional brand building expert, Juliann Larimer, vice president of worldwide channels and sales operations for Motorola Solutions and Paul Bay, president, Ingram Micro North America.
It will also feature new Ingram Micro vendors, including TSC Printers and APG Cash Drawer, as well as more than 20 ISVs from across the Americas.
Ingram Micro saw a relatively successful first quarter of 2013.
The distie reported global sales of $10.26 billion, up 19 percent compared with $8.64 billion in the first quarter last year.
The company said its 2012 fourth quarter acquisitions of Brightpoint and Aptec added $1.1 billion and $75 million, respectively, to its first quarter revenue, contributing 13 percent to the growth.
Worldwide gross profit was $585.3 million – working out to 5.70 percent of total sales, compared to a worldwide gross profit of $467.6 million -5.41 percent of total sales- in the same quarter of last year.
However, the company admitted it fared badly when it came to its GAAP operating income which stood at $90.8 million and was negatively impacted by lower gross margin in the technology distribution business and continued investments in key strategic areas across all regions to further diversify revenues.
The figure compared with 2012 first quarter GAAP operating income of $104.1 million.
2013 first quarter GAAP net income was $49.8 million, compared with 2012 first quarter GAAP net income of $90 million, driven by favourable pricing on hard disk drives.